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Robert  L.  Gushwa 

Volume  IV 



WASHINGTON,  D.C.  1977 


This  volume  is  one  of  a  series  of  five  prepared  by  various  authors, 
designed  to  be  useful  and  instructixe  regarding  the  long  history  of  the 
United  States  Army  Chaplaincy.  The  emphasis  throughout  is  on  how 
Chaplains  did  their  ministry  in  the  contexts  of  both  war  and  peace.  The 
series  seeks  to  present  as  full  and  as  balanced  an  account  as  limitations  of 
space  and  research  time  permit.  The  bibliography  in  each  volume  offers 
opportunities  for  further  research  leading  to  detailed  studies,  articles, 
monographs,  and  perhaps  even  volumes  regarding  persons,  developments, 
and  events  of  the  period  concerned.  No  attempt  has  been  made  to  express 
any  specific  point  of  view  or  to  make  policy  recommendations.  The  con- 
tents of  each  volume  represent  the  work  of  the  individual  author  and  do 
not  represent  the  official  view  of  the  United  States  government. 

An  effort  has  been  made  to  make  this  volume  as  complete  and  factual 
as  possible.  In  the  light  of  new  information  and  developments,  there  may 
be  modifications  required  concerning  the  material,  interpretations,  and 
conclusions  presented.  Such  corrections,  additions,  and  suggestions  as 
readers  may  have  are  welcome  for  use  in  future  revisions ;  they  should  be 
addressed  to : 

Director  of  Support 

US  Army  Chaplain  Center  and  School 

ATTN:  Historian 

Fort  Wadsworth,  Staten  Island,  NY  10305 

Chaplain  Robert  L.  Gushwa,  a  Regular  Army  chaplain  of  the  United 
Presbyterian  Church  in  the  U.S.A.,  is  the  writer  of  this  volume.  Chaplain 
Gushwa  was  born  and  educated  in  Indiana.  He  served  as  pastor  of  civilian 
congregations  in  Kentucky,  Florida,  and  Ohio,  before  entry  on  active 
duty  in  1964.  He  has  served  at  Fort  Eustis,  Virginia;  Fort  Bragg,  North 
Carolina;  Fort  Benning,  Georgia;  Fort  Wadsworth,  New  York;  and 
overseas,  in  Germany  and  Vietnam.  He  has  been  awarded  the  Bronze 
Star  with  V  device  and  Oak  Leaf  Cluster,  the  Meritorious  Servdce  Medal, 
the  Army  Commendation  Medal  with  second  Oak  Leaf  Cluster,  and 
the  Master  Parachutist  Badge. 



Charles  Dickens  wrote  in  A  Tale  of  Two  Cities : 

It  was  the  best  of  times,  it  was  the  worst  of  times,  it  was  the  age  of 
wisdom,  it  was  the  age  of  foolishness,  it  was  the  epoch  of  belief,  it  was 
the  season  of  Darkness,  it  was  the  spring  of  hope,  it  was  the  winter  of 
despair,  we  had  everything  before  us,  we  had  nothing  before  us,  we  were 
all  going  direct  to  Heaven,  we  were  all  going  direct  the  other  way.  .  .  .^ 

Written  in  1859,  these  words  characterize  and  give  the  title  to  this 
volume.  The  twenties,  thirties,  and  forties  were  the  best  and  worst  of 
times  for  America  and  the  times  were  reflected  in  the  ministry  of  the 

"The  decade  of  the  twenties  is  the  most  sharply  defined  decade  in 
American  history"  wrote  Sydney  Ahlstrom.'  The  decade  was  marked  by 
war  at  one  end  and  depression  at  the  other.  Chapter  I,  "From  World  War 
to  Market  Crash,"  describes  the  ministry  of  Army  chaplains,  and  the 
growth  toward  an  upgraded  professionalism  within  the  institution  dur- 
ing the  period. 

The  1930's,  whether  seen  as  the  Great  Depression  or  the  New  Deal, 
had  no  precedent  in  United  States  history.  Chaplains  ministered  not 
only  to  the  small  peacetime  Army,  but  also  to  young  men  in  the  Civilian 
Conservation  Corps  in  a  new  opportunity  for  expanded  service.  Fear, 
hunger,  and  desperation  became  facts  of  life  as  privation  spread  across 
the  country.  Part  of  the  nation  was  committed  to  pacifism,  isolation,  and 
indecision,  even  as  war  clouds  gathered.  Others  saw  a  revival  of  spirit, 
a  nation  of  rugged  individualists  pulling  together  with  a  sense  of  urgency 
that  took  on  a  religious  aspect.  Chapter  II,  "Marking  Time  While  Pre- 
paring, the  1 930's,"  chronicles  the  chaplains'  ministry  in  that  decade. 

On  7  December  1941  America  was  thrust  into  the  war  she  sought 
to  avoid,  yet  for  which  she  was  preparing.  From  less  than  200  in  the 
twenties,  the  number  of  chaplains  on  active  duty  reached  nearly  9,000 
during  World  War  II.  It  was  a  time  of  unprecedented  opportunity  for 
service,  accomplished  amidst  the  death  and  destruction  of  modern  war- 
fare that  culminated  in  the  ushering  in  of  the  atomic  age.  It  was  indeed 
the  best  and  worst  of  times.  Chapters  III  and  IV  describe  the  defensive 
and  offensive  stages  of  World  War  II.  The  division  of  material  into  two 

vi  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

chapters  reflects  not  only  the  mihtary  situation,  but  a  difference  in  the 
focus  of  ministry  as  it  appHed  to  training,  and  later  combat  settings. 

'  The  approach  used  is  chronological.  While  decades  of  history  are 
artificial  measurements,  there  is  evidence  that  the  decades  discussed  fell 
into  discernible  patterns,  markedly  different  from  one  another.  Further, 
a  conscious  attempt  has  been  made  to  show  what  was  happening  in  the 
country,  how  it  affected  the  Army,  and  in  turn  how  that  affected  the 
ministry  of  the  chaplain.  The  people  to  whom  the  chaplain  ministered, 
the  milieu  in  which  he  found  himself,  the  events,  and  the  popular  think- 
ing and  interpretation  of  those  events,  varied  greatly  from  decade  to 
decade.  The  chaplain's  role  in  the  1920's  was  not  the  same  as  in  the 

An  institutional  history  of  the  chaplaincy  could  be  written  "from  the 
top  down,"  as  though  the  significant  events  controlled  from  the  top,  by 
the  Secretary  of  War,  the  large  denominations,  the  Congress,  and  the 
Chief  of  Chaplains,  and  managed  to  filter  down  to  the  individual  soldier 
through  his  or  her  chaplain.  Such  a  history  may  some  day  be  written.  But 
this  is  not  it.  The  historical  facts  as  uncovered  in  my  research  simply  do 
not  support  the  view  that  "top"  people,  gifted  with  prophetic  foresight, 
planned  ahead  for  the  exigencies  of  war,  or  deeply  felt  the  spiritual 
needs  of  soldiers  and  devised  an  adequate  plan  for  recruiting,  training, 
and  equipping  chaplains  to  minister.  The  use  of  the  term  "corps"  when 
applied  to  chaplains  of  this  period  was  a  troublesome  term,  without  of- 
ficial status.  Like  "Topsy,"  it  just  grew.  Comparing  the  institution  of  the 
chaplaincy  to  the  artillery,  infantry,  or  armour  branches  is  to  compare 
apples  with  oranges.  Their  corps  histories  are  shaped  by  strong  com- 
manders, strong  leadership,  tested  principles,  "vested  interests"  in  intra- 
service  rivalries  for  money,  equipment  and  importance.  The  concept  of 
humility  is  foreign. 

An  alternate  view  of  the  history  of  the  chaplaincy  is  to  write  from 
the  bottom  up,  a  "grass  roots"  view  as  seen  through  the  eyes  of  the  chap- 
plains  who  ministered  to  men  bored  to  death  at  isolated  camps  and  train- 
ing areas,  frightened  at  embarkation  points  and  battlefields,  sick  and  in- 
jured in  hospitals  and  aid  stations,  isolated  in  stockades  and  prisoner  of 
war  camps.  Counseling  in  scrounged  offices,  preaching  in  chapels  made 
out  of  packing  cases,  hitchhiking  from  camp  to  camp  and  site  to  site  when 
no  official  transportation  was  provided,  mimeographing  "hymnbooks" 
at  their  own  expense,  watching  fine  officers  zoom  past  them  in  rank  while 
they  went  through  the  war  without  a  promotion — indeed,  in  some  cases 
embarrassed  by  the  fact  that  they  had  to  have  rank  at  all — these  men 
represented  a  different  perspective  and  history  than  the  view  from  the  top. 


The  chaplaincy  of  this  period  was  not  a  proud  corps  with  distin- 
guished graduates  of  West  Point  leading  it  to  glory.  Sometimes  unwanted, 
unappreciated,  misunderstood,  and  viewed  with  either  suspicion,  or  a 
smile,  in  some  quarters,  and  as  unnecessary  in  others,  the  chaplaincy  was 
a  branch  like  no  other  in  the  Army.  It  had  few  measurable  yardsticks  to 
determine  its  effectiveness.  Its  members  viewed  themselves  as  clergymen 
in  uniform  rather  than  as  professional  soldiers.  The  branch  insignia  on 
their  uniforms  were  not  weapons,  but  symbols  of  love  and  peace. 

As  a  chaplain  passed  a  group  of  trainees  who  were  being  harangued 
by  their  sergeant,  the  sergeant  paused  and  said,  "Men,  there  goes  a  chap- 
lain. He  is  your  friend.  Your  only  friend."  Perhaps  only  friends  of  the 
"friend"  can  truly  appreciate  the  uniqueness  of  this  history.  The  approach 
of  this  volume  is  grass  roots.  The  story  of  the  branch  is  that  of  individuals 
ministering  to  other  individuals  in  loyalty  to  God  and  country. 

The  volume  does  not  concentrate  on  American  history,  although  it 
is  impossible  to  write  about  chaplains  and  ignore  the  climate  of  events 
that  surrounded  them.  Certainly  this  book  is  not  a  military  history  nor 
theological  history  of  the  thinking  in  xA.merican  churches,  synagogues,  and 
seminaries.  It  does  not  pretend  to  be  exhaustive  to  the  point  of  detailing 
what  each  chaplain  contributed  in  his  corner  of  a  global  dispersion ;  many 
survivors  of  this  period  will  look  in  vain  for  their  names,  or  even  a  mention 
of  their  unit. 

The  book  is  not  an  apologia  to  justify  the  chaplaincy  as  an  institution. 
There  are  no  "muck  raking"  exposes,  no  debunking  of  those  no  longer 
around  to  defend  themselves.  Neither  is  there  an  attempt  to  add  glory  to 
the  record,  for  it  is  strong  enough  to  stand  on  its  own. 

The  purpose  of  my  study  is  to  look  at  the  ministry  of  Army  chaplains 
during  three  diverse  decades.  Note  the  word  "ministry."  What  did  chap- 
lains do?  What  did  they  consider  to  be  their  role?  How  were  they  seen  by 
others?  What  were  their  problems  and  successes?  Who  supported  them? 
Who  opposed  them  and  why?  How  did  the  chaplains  adjust  their  presenta- 
tion of  the  ancient  gospel  to  the  modern  world?  Sometimes  they  succeeded 
beyond  their  own  knowledge.  Sometimes  they  were  apparently  unaware 
of  the  events  sweeping  around  them.  At  times  they  were  prophetic,  and 
on  occasion  selflessly  heroic.  Looking  at  past  events  with  the  detachment 
of  more  than  fifty  years,  as  the  story  began,  to  a  diminishing  perspective 
of  thirty  years  as  it  ended,  may  make  the  participants  seem  naive,  and  the 
historian  brilliant  in  his  hindsight.  But  the  recurrence  and  reemergence 
of  what  seem  almost  cyclic  questions  may  shed  a  humbling  light  on  what 
we  are  about  now,  in  spite  of  the  comment  that  the  only  lesson  history 
teaches  is  that  it  teaches  no  lesson.  My  purpose  then,  to  borrow  a  seventies 

viii  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

phrase,  is  to  tell  it  like  it  is,  or  failing  that,  to  at  least  try  to  tell  it  like  it  was. 
As  Gore  Vidal  in  a  New  York  Times  interview  said  "In  a  way,  I  have  noth- 
ing to  say,  but  a  great  deal  to  add."  ^ 

When  Dwight  D.  Eisenhower  served  as  President  he  said,  with  a 
good  deal  of  military  experience  on  which  to  base  it,  ". .  .  the  consecration, 
the  diligence,  the  courage  and  the  resourcefulness  of  its  chaplains  is  part 
of  the  Army's  proudest  tradition."  ^  To  the  chronicle  of  that  tradition  I 
am  happy  to  add  this  volume. 

I  am  grateful  to  many  individuals  who  helped  contribute  to  the  fol- 
lowing pages.  Many  retired  chaplains  shared  their  experiences  through 
questionnaires,  interviews,  and  correspondence.  Appreciation  is  extended 
to  the  personnel  at  the  National  Archives.  The  Washington  National  Rec- 
ords Center,  The  Presbyterian  Historical  Society,  The  New  York  City 
Library,  The  Office  of  The  Army  Chief  of  Chaplains,  and  The  Library  of 
the  command  and  General  Staff  College.  Individuals  who  were  especially 
helpful  and  deserve  to  be  singled  out  for  thanks  include :  Robert  Spurrier 
Boege  of  the  Library  of  Congress;  Chaplain  (COL)  Dick  J.  Oostenink, 
USAR,  Librarian  of  the  United  States  Army  Chaplain  Center  and 
School;  Chaplain  (LTC)  James  H.  Young,  who  prepared  extensive  re- 
search files  for  this  volume;  and  Chaplain  (COL)  Earl  F.  Stover,  whose 
guidance  on  research  techniques  was  invaluable.  Chaplain  (COL)  Wil- 
liam E.  Paul,  Jr.,  edited,  proofread,  conferred  and  guided  about,  and  con- 
tributed to  this  volume  immeasurably.  Finally,  thanks  to  Mrs,  Rita  A. 
Harris,  for  typing  and  retyping  the  manuscript.  And  to  the  Composing 
Room  staff:  Mr.  Joseph  De  Fazio,  Mrs.  Ana  M.  Buther,  Miss  Connie 
Hanlon,  and  Mrs.  Paula  McShane. 

Fort  Wadsworth,  New  York  Robert  L.  Gushwa 

28  October  1977  Chaplain  (LTC),  USA 


'Charles  Dickens,  A  Tale  of  Two  Cities,  (New  York:  E.  P.  Button,  1972),  p.  1. 

"Sydney  E.  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  the  American  People,   (New  Haven  and  London: 

Yale  University  Press,  1972),  p.  895. 

'^  New  York  Times,  24  February  1976,  p.  30.  Interview  by  Alvin  Shuster. 

*  Rosemarian  V.  Staudacher,  Chaplains  in  Action,  (New  York:  Farrar,  Strauss  &  Cudshay,  1962), 

p.  12. 


This  publication  contains  copyrighted  material. 

Chapter      I.  FROM  WORLD  WAR  TO  MARKET  CRASH— 
THE  1920's 


The  Mood  of  the  Times 1 

Effects  Upon  the  Army 2 

Demobilization,    Occupation,    and    Immediate 

Duties 3 

Reorganization 4 

The  "Organized"  Chaplaincy 5 

The  Chief  of  Chaplains 8 

Further  Steps  Toward  Organization 12 

Reserve  and  National  Guard  Chaplains 13 

Selection  and  Appointment 15 

The  Chaplain  School 16 

Other  Training 19 

Activities  of  Chaplains 21 

Educational  Duties 25 

Foreign  Service 26 

The  Pacifist  and  Constitutional  Opposition ....  27 

The  Insignia  of  Grade  Question 28 

Further   Relationships   of   Church    and    Chap- 
laincy   32 

Citizens  Military  Training  Camps 35 

Equipment  and  Assistants 38 

Memorials  of  World  War  1 40 

A  Chaplain  Is  Pardoned 41 

Minorities 42 

Evaluation 43 


X  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Chapter     II.  MARKING    TIME    WHILE    PREPARING,    THE 



The  New  Deal 49 

Rock  Bottom  for  the  Army 51 

The  Pacifist  Tempest  Grows 51 

A  Reduction  in  Force  Contemplated 57 

The  CCC  and  the  Chaplaincy 58 

Problems  of  the  CCC  and  Its  Demise 68 

Natural  Disasters 69 

Chapels 71 

Institutional  Developments  and  Setbacks 72 

The  Chiefs  of  Chaplains 74 

Activities  of  Chaplains 77 

The  Close  of  a  Decade 79 

Evaluation 80 


Beginnings 91 

Steps  Toward  War 92 

Thinking  Within  the  Church 93 

Indorsing  Agencies  Prepare 96 

Qualifications  of  Chaplains 98 

A  Day  of  Infamy 101 

Combat  Comes  to  the  Chaplains 102 

The  Wartime  Chief 104 

The  Chaplain  School  Reactivated 107 

Additional  Training Ill 

The  Jumpers 112 

The  Army  Builds  Chapels 113 

Wartime  Ministry — Defensive  Phase 117 

Specialized  Ministry 121 

The  Four  Chaplains 127 

The  Growing  Clarity  of  Role  and  Status 1 30 


Chapter   IV.  WORLD      WAR      II— FROM      OFFENSE  TO 


The  Military  Situation — Offensive  Phase 141 

Continued  Administrative  Developments 142 

In  God  We  Trust 145 

The  Wartime  Ministry — Continued 147 

The  Weather  Prayer 156 

Meanwhile  ...  In  the  Pacific 157 

"They  Also  Serve" 164 

The  Ministry  to  Prisoners  of  War 166 

The  Execution  of  a  Private 167 

The  Last  Mass  Execution  in  the  US 167 

Bibles  in  World  War  II 168 

Other  Literature 172 

Distinguished  Visitors 173 

Helping  Agencies 1 74 

Chaplains'  Assistants 175 

Conscientious  Objectors 177 

Popular  Religion — Foxholes  and  Athiests 178 

The  Final  Days  of  War 180 

Evaluation 185 

Epilogue 198 

General  Index 200 

Index  of  Proper  Names 203 

Chiefs  of  Chaplains  and  Deputies :  1 920- 1 945 .  .  206 

Appendix    A.  Activities  of  Chaplains,  1926 

B.  Statistics  of  Religious  Services 207 

C.  Denominational  Breakdown  of  Serving  Chap- 

lains in  World  War  II 208 

D.  Course  of  Instruction  at   US   Army   Chaplain 

School  (1942) 211 

E.  Course    of    Instruction — US    Army    Chaplain 

School  (1945) 212 

F.  Commandants  of  the  Chaplain  School 213 

G.  1920-1945  Locations  of  the  Chaplain  School.  .  214 
H.  Battle  Deaths  Between  7   December   1941   and 

31  December  1946  Inclusive 215 

I.  Summary    of    Chaplains'    Activities     (1    July 

1943-30  June  1944) 218 

Bibliography 219 

Index ix 


From  World  War  to  Market  Crash — The 


The  Mood  of  the  Times 

"The  decade  of  the  twenties  is  the  most  sharply  defined  decade  in 
American  History.  Marked  ofT  by  the  war  at  one  end  and  the  depression 
at  the  other,  it  has  a  character  of  its  own — ten  restless  years  roaring  from 
jubilation  to  despair  amid  international  and  domestic  dislocation,"  wrote 
Sidney  E.  Ahlstrom.'  He  said  conservatives  viewed  it  as  the  Jazz  Age,  a 
time  of  corruption  and  excess;  liberals  saw  it  as  an  order  dominated  by 
business  men  that  was  bankrupt ;  religiously  oriented  critics  saw  it  as  a 
tragic  display  of  obscurantism,  superficiality,  complacency  and  futile  con- 
flict. Furious  controversies,  great  debates,  and  wild  fulminations  were  the 
order  of  the  day.  And  nearly  all  of  this  conflict  was  part  of  the  nation's  re- 
ligious history,  either  because  the  churches  w ere  acti\e  participants,  or 
because  events  impinged  on  church  life.^ 

Catching  the  mood  of  anger  that  pervaded  the  period  Lucien  Price 
wrote,  "Those  flush  years  1919  to  1929,  had  been  angry  years.  People,  even 
people  ^vho  had  been  poor  and  then  found  themselves  with  more  money 
than  they  had  ever  expected  to  have  in  their  lives,  were  discontented."  ^ 

People  had  margins  of  ease,  leisure,  and  convenience  which  past 
training  didn't  prepare  them  to  use  constructively.  They  were  bored,  dis- 
appointed, and  finally  bitter.  In  the  newspapers,  magazines,  and  books  of 
the  period,  writers  delighted  in  firing  broadsides  of  criticism.  Times  were 
never  so  flush.  Few  observers  of  the  international  scene  predicted  war.  Yet 
people  were  angry.  What  ailed  them?  Price  contended  they  lacked  some- 
thing to  live  for  more  important  than  themselves,  their  families,  property, 
and  occupations— they  lacked,  in  one  word,  religion. 

Cynicism  prevailed.  A  generation  of  youth  saw  its  idealism  exploited 
and  betrayed  by  World  War  I.  Education  became  more  important  than 
religion.  The  church  didn't  save  the  world  from  war.  Perhaps  education 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


2  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

could.  For  the  first  time  in  history  a  great  nation  tried  to  educate,  not 
alone  an  elite,  but  the  whole  mass  of  its  people.^ 

After  each  war  anti-militarism  and  pacifism  have  affected  popular 
thinking.  The  memory  of  the  most  recent  war,  fought  with  modern 
weapons,  led  to  the  belief  that  it  was  "the  war  to  end  all  wars."  It  was  a 
firmly  held  conviction  that  war  was  now  so  devastating  and  terrible  that  no 
enlightened  people  would  consider  it  as  an  instrument  of  foreign  policy. 
Military  preparedness,  therefore,  was  an  alien  concept.  The  Army  was  on 
its  own,  without  popular  interest  or  support. 

Effects  Upon  the  Army 

Soon  after  the  armistice  of  November  1918  the  War  Department 
urged  Congress  to  establish  a  permanent  Regular  Army  of  nearly  600,000 
and  a  three  month  universal  military  training  system  that  would  allow  for 
rapid  expansion  of  this  force  to  meet  the  requirements  of  a  new  major 
war.  The  Congress  reflected  the  mood  of  the  American  public  and  re- 
jected these  proposals.  American  Military  History  states,  "It  was  hard  to 
believe  that  the  defeat  of  Germany  and  the  exhaustion  of  the  other  Euro- 
pean powers  did  not  guarantee  that  there  would  be  no  major  war  on  land 
for  years  to  come."  ^  Although  the  possibility  of  war  with  Japan  was  rec- 
ognized, American  leaders  assured  themselves  that  such  a  war,  if  it  hap- 
pened at  all,  would  be  primarily  naval  in  character.  Hence,  there  was  no 
need  for  a  large  Army.  The  fundamental  factor  in  the  military  policy  of 
the  United  States  for  the  next  twenty  years  was  reliance  on  the  Navy  as 
the  first  line  of  national  defense. 

America's  decision  not  to  join  the  League  of  Nations,  and  therefore 
to  reject  participation  in  an  active  and  co-operative  world  security  system 
to  maintain  peace,  was  another  basic  factor  that  determined  the  character 
and  composition  of  the  Army  between  world  wars.  The  principal  concern 
of  the  War  Department  at  this  time  was  manpower  to  fulfill  even  the  lim- 
ited peacetime  mission  assigned  to  it.  Salaries  were  low,  minorities  were 
consciously  segregated,  the  economy  was  expanding,  the  demobilization 
from  World  War  I  was  rapid.  Manpower  was  a  more  keenly  felt  need 
than  materiel.  The  belated  production  for  World  War  I  left  huge  stocks 
of  equipment  on  hand.'^ 

Demobilization,  Occupation,  and  Immediate  Duties 

Planning  for  demobilization  began  only  a  month  before  the  end  of 
the  war.  With  the  end  of  the  fighting  almost  all  officers  and  men  in  the 
Army  became  eligible  for  discharge.  In  the  first  full  month  of  demobiliza- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


tion  the  Army  released  about  650,000  officers  and  men,  and  within  nine 
months  it  released  nearly  3,250,000.'  At  the  end  of  the  war  there  were 
2,363  chaplains;  within  6  months  the  number  on  active  duty  dropped  to 
1,200,  and  a  short  time  later  to  1 25,  the  number  of  Regular  Army  slots.  Of 
the  1 25  on  active  duty  in  1922,  33  were  overseas.  Only  five  were  authorized 
for  Air  Service  fields.  The  authorization  at  the  time  granted  one  chaplain 
to  1,152  military  personnel.  Compared  to  other  branches  the  reduction 
of  chaplains  was  a  bit  slower  because  many  commanders  requested  their 
retention  overseas  for  morale  purposes,  and  the  hospital  ministry  to  the 
wounded  was  too  essential  to  be  curtailed.  There  were  only  thirty  Regular 
Army  chaplains  before  World  War  I,  so  that  retention  of  125  in  peace- 
time was  a  new  record  level.  By  the  end  of  1919  the  active  Army  was  re- 
duced to  a  strength  of  about  19,000  officers  and  205,000  enlisted  men  and 
was  again  a  Regular  volunteer  force.* 

At  home  during  1919  and  1920  Army  forces  continued  guarding  the 
border  of  Mexico,  required  by  revolutionary  disturbances  in  that  country. 
The  lack  of  National  Guard  forces  (not  yet  organized)  meant  that  the 
active  Army  also  supplied  troops  on  numerous  occasions,  until  the  sum- 
mer of  1921,  to  help  suppress  domestic  disorders.  Most  of  these  disorders 
arose  out  of  labor  disputes  and  race  conflicts  in  a  restless  postwar  America. 

Overseas,  a  newly  activated  United  States  Third  Army  moxed  into 
Germany  on  1  December  1918,  to  occupy  territory  between  Luxembourg 
and  the  Rhine  River  around  Coblenz.  Nine  divisions  participated  in  the 
German  occupation  during  the  spring  of  1919.  An  Army  regiment,  sent 
to  Italy  before  the  end  of  hostilities,  participated  for  four  months  in  the 
occupation  of  Austria.  In  Germany,  American  troops  had  no  unusual  dif- 
ficulties with  the  populace  and  soon  after  the  peace  conferences  ended  in 
May  1919  the  occupation  forces  were  rapidly  reduced.  They  numbered 
about  15,000  at  the  beginning  of  1920.  The  occupying  force  was  gradually 
withdrawn,  and  the  last  thousand  troops  left  for  home  on  24  January 

A  force  of  10,000  under  Major  General  William  S.  Graves  had  many 
trying  experiences  in  Siberia,  to  which  they  were  dispatched  to  rescue 
Czech  troops  and  curb  Japanese  expansionist  tendencies.  They  were  with- 
drawn in  April  1920.  After  the  withdrawals  from  Russia  and  Germany, 
the  only  Army  forces  stationed  on  foreign  soil  were  the  garrison  of  about 
1,000  men  maintained  at  Tientsin,  China,  from  1912  until  1938,  and  a 
similar  force  dispatched  from  the  Philippines  to  Shanghai  for  five  months 
in  1932." 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

4  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 


The  National  Defense  Act  of  4  June  1920  was  a  sweeping  amend- 
ment of  the  National  Defense  Act  of  1916;  it  served  as  a  watershed  be- 
tween the  old  and  the  modern  Army,  and  governed  the  military  until 
1950.  Until  1920,  military  leaders  pressed  for  a  Regular  Army  that  could 
be  quickly  expanded;  instead,  Congress  established  three  components  of 
the  Army:  the  professional  Regular  Army,  the  civilian  National  Guard, 
and  the  civilian  Organized  Reserves  (Officers'  and  Enlisted  Reserve 
Corps ) . 

The  components  were  to  be  so  regulated  that  they  could  contribute 
their  appropriate  share  of  troops  in  a  war  emergency.  The  act  acknowl- 
edged the  actual  practice  of  the  United  States  throughout  its  history — 
maintaining  a  standing  peacetime  force  too  small  to  be  expanded  to  meet 
the  needs  of  a  great  war,  and  depending  on  a  new  Army  of  civilian  soldiers 
for  large  mobilizations.  The  change  recognized  by  the  new  act  made  the 
training  of  civilian  components  a  major  peacetime  task  of  the  Regular 
Army.  Principally  for  this  reason  the  Army  was  authorized  a  maximum 
officer  strength  of  1 7,726,  more  than  three  times  the  actual  officer  strength 
of  the  Regular  Army  before  World  War  I.  The  act  also  provided  that  offi- 
cer promotions,  except  for  doctors  and  chaplains,  would  be  made  from  a 
single  list,  a  step  that  equalized  advancement  opportunity  throughout 
most  of  the  Army.^" 

The  act  provided  for  the  continuance  of  all  branches  established 
before  1917  and  added  Air  Service,  Chemical  Warfare  Service,  and  a 
Finance  Department.  The  Tank  Corps  was  absorbed  by  the  Infantry. 

The  strengthening  of  the  General  Staff  under  General  Pershing  as 
Chief  of  Staff  in  1921,  his  reorganization  of  the  War  Department  into  five 
divisions — G-1  (personnel),  G-2  (intelligence),  G-3  (training and  oper- 
ations), G-4  (supply),  and  a  new  War  Plans  Division  that  dealt  with 
strategic  planning  and  related  preparations  for  the  event  of  war — further 
determined  the  shape  of  things  to  come.'^ 

The  field  forces  in  the  continental  United  States  were  put  under  the 
command  and  administration  of  nine  corps  areas;  those  overseas  in 
Panama,  Hawaii,  and  the  Philippines,  under  departments  similarly 

Reflecting  the  popular  emphasis  on  education  already  referred  to, 
the  Army  put  far  greater  emphasis  on  that  as  a  means  of  preparedness 
than  ever  before.  The  United  States  Military  Academy,  The  Reserve  Offi- 
cer's Training  Corps,  The  Citizen's  Military  Training  Camps,  thirty-one 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


special  service  schools  providing  branch  training,  and  the  forerunners  of 
the  Command  and  General  Staff  College,  the  Army  War  College,  and  the 
Army  Industrial  College,  attested  to  this  interest. 

As  sweeping  as  this  new  Defense  Act  was,  the  Congress  never  fully 
funded  its  cost,  appropriations  leveling  off  at  $300  million  a  year,  or  about 
half  the  cost  of  fully  implementing  the  act.  Manpower  levels  were  sim- 
ilarly short  circuited  so  that  actual  strength  was  far  belo\v  authorized 
strength.  Strength  leveled  off  at  12,000  commissioned  officers  and  125,000 
enlisted  men  until  1936.'" 

The  "Organized"  Chaplaincy 

While  the  rest  of  the  Army  was  reorganizing,  the  chaplaincy  got  or- 
ganized for  the  first  time.  Chaplain  Paul  D.  Moody,  son  of  the  famous 
evangelist  D wight  L.  Moody,  served  as  an  assistant  to  Bishop  Brent  in 
France.  Brent  was  then  in  charge  of  chaplain  work  in  the  AEF.  Chaplain 
Moody  wrote  of  the  problems  of  trying  to  organize  the  work  of  the 
chaplains.  "The  association  of  these  men  was  the  association  of  peas  in  a 
bag.  Each  was  independent  of  e\eryone  else  and  answerable  only  to  his 
commanding  officer  who  might,  and  again  who  might  not,  be  sympathetic 
with  the  idea  of  the  chaplaincy."  ' ' 

General  Pershing's  plan  to  organize  the  administration  of  chaplain 
affairs  in  1918  was  to  have  an  administrative  chaplain's  office  in  his  head- 
quarters. Pershing  invited  Bishop  Brent,  who  was  in  France  as  a  special 
agent  for  the  Young  Men's  Christian  Association,  to  work  out  a  plan  of 
organization  for  the  chaplains  under  his  command.  Bishop  Gwynne,  Dep- 
uty Chaplain  General  of  the  British  forces,  visited  headquarters  and  ex- 
plained the  British  Army  system.  Several  of  its  features  were  adopted  in 
the  American  plan.'^ 

General  Pershing  favored  the  formation  of  a  Chaplain  "Corps"  with 
Brent  as  its  head.  Brent  convinced  him  that  a  better  plan  was  the  appoint- 
ment of  a  permanent  executive  committee  of  chaplains  to  study  conditions 
and  make  direct  recommendations  to  the  general.  "It  is  significant," 
wrote  Honeywell  "that  this  committee  included  a  Catholic  chaplain,  a 
clergyman  of  a  Protestant  church  with  the  episcopal  plan  of  organization, 
and  one  of  a  body  which  follows  the  congregational  system."  ''  Their  du- 
ties included  assignment  of  chaplains  to  units  and  installations  in  the 
European  Theatre,  visits  to  chaplains  in  the  field,  investigation  of  situa- 
tions affecting  the  moral  welfare  of  troops,  and  supervision  of  the  Chap- 
lain's School  in  France. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  2 

6  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Brent,  as  chairman  of  the  group,  was  frequently  called  the  Chief  of 
Chaplains  of  the  American  Expeditionary  Force.  He  used  this  title  him- 
self in  1924,  and  it  is  inscribed  over  his  tomb  at  Lausanne.  Following  the 
war  this  system  of  administration  was  modified  and  continued  among 
occupation  forces  by  the  senior  chaplain  of  American  forces,  Edmund 

Brent's  assistant.  Chaplain  Moody,  stated  this  was  the  first  time  in  the 
history  of  the  American  Army  that  any  attempt  was  made  to  organize 
the  work  of  chaplains.  However,  the  three-man  board  overseas  had  noth- 
ing whatever  to  do  with  the  chaplains  in  the  United  States,  "who  re- 
mained for  the  most  part  as  unorganized  at  the  end  as  they  were  at  the 
beginning  of  the  war."  ^^ 

Lack  of  organization  caused  or  failed  to  correct  other  problems. 
Chaplains  did  not  command  or  control  the  others  in  their  profession. 
Command  support  was  essential  to  any  program  in  a  unit  or  at  a  post.  If 
it  was  lacking  there  was  literally  nowhere  a  chaplain  could  turn  for  help, 
and  no  one  to  whom  he  could  appeal.  Chaplains  felt  that  they  should  not 
be  rated  by  other  chaplains.  Chaplain  George  Waring  feared  such  an  ar- 
rangement would  hamper  individual  creativity  and  cause  friction.  (His 
concerns  are  detailed  in  Volume  HI  of  this  series. )  Professionally,  a  chap- 
lain was  capable  of  a  more  penetrating  evaluation  than  any  other  officer. 
Chaplain  Roy  J.  Honeywell  told  of  a  chaplain  who  challenged  a  low  effi- 
ciency rating  with  success  on  the  ground  that  the  rating  officer  was  not 
competent  to  evaluate  him  since  the  officer  had  never  heard  him  preach. 
One  colonel  frankly  said,  "Chaplain,  I  have  given  you  a  high  efficiency 
rating  because  I  suppose  you  have  been  performing  your  duties,  though  I 
have  no  idea  what  you  are  supposed  to  do."  ^' 

The  chaplain  was  orphaned  from  his  denomination.  He  was  re- 
garded by  his  ministerial  brethren  as  having  "left  the  ministry."  The  sup- 
portive role  of  endorsing  agencies,  chaplain  associations,  professional 
magazines,  public  relations  with  local  ministerial  associations,  interde- 
nominational cooperation  and  problem  solving  guidance,  and  retreats 
aimed  at  the  needs  of  the  military  pastor,  were  yet  to  come. 

Promotion,  which  meant  so  much  in  the  Army,  was  very  slow.  Pro- 
motion meant  greater  authority  and  more  pay,  and  chaplains,  as  men  of 
the  cloth,  were  theoretically  disinterested  in  such  things — so  it  was 
thought.  They  could  hope  for  no  grade  above  major.  There  was  no  chap- 
lain school,  career  development,  graduate  study  program,  nor  clear  regu- 
lation covering  duties  and  responsibilities.  Additional  non-chaplain  duties 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


were  still  expected  of  them.  The  pressure  to  consider  themselves  officers 
rather  than  clerg)'men  was  constant.  They  became  of  necessity  regimen- 
tally  minded,  with  small  inducement  to  feel  responsibility  outside  their 
own  regiments,  or  posts. ^*^  A  Catholic  chaplain  at  one  post  might  "swap 
services"  with  a  Protestant  chaplain  at  another  nearby  post,  but  it  de- 
pended on  local  arrangements.  There  was  no  one  directing  a  plan  of  reli- 
gious coverage  from  the  top. 

The  gains  of  organization  in  France  did  not  apply  to  chaplains  out- 
side the  AEF.  The  rapid  demobilization  following  the  Armistice  led  to  a 
rash  of  morale  problems — even  to  the  extent  of  riot  and  mutiny. ^^  In  the 
period  of  transition  and  turbulence  from  wartime  to  peacetime,  chaplains 
showed  more  interest  in  the  problems  of  their  men  than  in  organizing 
themselves.  Chaplain  Emerson  E.  Swanson  was  one  among  many  who 
gave  special  lectures  and  instructions  to  men  being  discharged.  He  wrote : 

I  addressed  the  men  who  were  being  discharged  during  the  month 
regarding  their  future  work  as  citizens  and  their  relation  to  the  Army.  I 
regard  the  work  of  getting  men  back  into  civil  life  in  the  right  frame  of 
mind  as  of  very  great  importance  to  the  nation. "° 

Paul  C.  Dubois  said,  "all  men  discharged  . . .  have  attended  a  lecture 
on  the  significance  of  their  service  and  the  duties  of  citizenship."  Some 
chaplains  included  vocational  guidance  information  in  their  counseling. 
An  attempt  was  made  to  cooperate  with  home  churches  in  setting  up  pro- 
grams to  welome  back  the  men  \vho  served  their  country."^ 

When  the  shooting  stopped  in  Europe,  the  churches,  once  supportive 
in  furnishing  chaplains  to  the  Army,  wanted  them  back  immediately." 
Since  churches  indorsed  their  clergy  to  the  Army  they  regarded  them  as 
"on  loan"  during  the  national  emergency,  and  expected  them  back.  And, 
like  soldiers  everywhere  after  a  war,  the  chaplains  wanted  to  go  home. 
Few  saw  a  future  for  themselves  in  a  military  career.  Their  pessimistic 
look  at  the  future  was  not  without  foundation  in  fact.  Fast  promotions 
were  a  part  of  every  war,  but  not  one  chaplain  was  promoted  during  the 
entire  period  of  World  War  I.'^  Insignia  of  grade  was  removed  from  the 
uniform  of  chaplains.  The  argument  was  that  they  were  "commissioned" 
by  the  Lord  to  preach  and  a  commission  from  the  Army  was  unnecessary. 
Pershing  and  Brent  believed  that  if  chaplains  did  not  wear  the  insignia  of 
grade,  enhsted  men  would  feel  closer  to  them.  Only  after  long  years  of 
service  could  a  chaplain  expect  to  be  a  captain,  and  existing  law  allowed 
no  higher  grade  than  major.''  Even  Bishop  Brent  was  not  commissioned 
as  a  chaplain,  but  as  a  major  in  the  Adjutant  General  Corps.  Pershing 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

8  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

asked  that  he  be  made  a  Heutenant  colonel,  but  "administrivia"  pre- 
vented it."'^ 

Agitation  for  change  was  building  for  some  time.  One  senior  chap- 
lain, William  Y.  Brown,  wanted  a  central  administrator  for  all  chaplains 
as  early  as  1863.  But  George  Waring  feared  it  in  1912.""  It  was  an  idea 
whose  time  finally  came.  The  change,  the  organization  and  institutionali- 
zation of  the  chaplaincy,  was  brought  about  by  pressure  from  a  number 
of  sources.  The  three-man  board,  already  referred  to  in  the  AEF,  made 
recommendations  for  the  future  of  the  chaplaincy.  The  value  of  supervi- 
sion was  so  successfully  demonstrated  that  it  became  a  part  of  the  "lessons 
learned"  atmosphere  after  the  war.  General  Pershing  pushed  for  reorgani- 
zation. After  World  War  I  and  II  there  was  a  quickening  of  interest  in 
how  much  "spiritual  damage"  had  been  done  to  the  nation's  youth. 
Churches,  concerned  educators,  and  parents  raised  questions  as  to  the 
adequacy  of  the  spiritual  ministry  afforded  to  the  men  in  the  Army.  The 
President,  and  the  Secretary  of  War,  through  committees  of  concerned 
religious  leaders,  focused  on  the  chaplaincy.'' 

The  Chief  of  Chaplains 

A  Senate  bill  recommended  a  commission  of  three,  representing  the 
major  faiths,  to  administer  chaplain  affairs.  This  was  changed  in  confer- 
ence to  provide  for  a  single  chief  of  chaplains  The  Capper  Bill  became 
law  on  4  June  1920.  It  dealt  with  the  reorganization  of  the  Army  and 
created  the  position  of  Chief  of  Chaplains : 

One  chaplain,  of  rank  not  below  that  of  major,  may  be  appointed 
by  the  President,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  to  be 
chief  of  chaplains.  He  shall  serve  as  such  for  four  years,  and  shall  have  the 
rank,  pay  and  allowances  of  colonel  while  so  serving.'^ 

A  special  committee  of  religious  leaders  recommended  two  candi- 
dates, and  John  Thomas  Axton,  a  Congregationalist,  was  chosen.  His 
reputation  as  an  administrator  had  been  firmly  established  during  the  war 
when  he  served  in  the  New  York  Port  area.  He  administered  the  work  of 
philanthropic,  social,  and  religious  organizations  serving  the  troops  em- 
barking for  Europe.  Axton  was  a  natural  born  "scrounger"  on  behalf  of 
his  men.  When  a  civilian  ship  was  pressed  into  convoy  duty  it  was  found 
to  be  seaworthy,  but  barren;  Axton  came  up  with  everything  from  deck 
chairs  and  games  to  magazines  and  fiowers.  A  recreation  hall,  soldiers 
club,  visitors'  lounge,  and  other  conveniences  materialized  under  his  di- 
rection. Highly  praised  by  commanders,  he  was  awarded  the  Distin- 
guished Service  Medal  for  his  work.  His  management  career  began  at 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


the  age  of  eighteen  when  he  attended  the  international  convention  of  the 
Christian  Endeavor  Society;  he  maintained  a  Hfelong  interest  in  the  or- 
ganization, and  directed  its  work  in  the  Army  during  World  War  II.  He 
served  for  nine  years,  1893-1902,  as  general  secretary  of  the  Young  Men's 
Christian  Association.  It  was  his  administrative  ability  and  excellent  rep- 
utation of  nearly  twenty  years  service  as  an  Army  chaplain  that  made  his 
selection  and  confirmation  a  good  choice.  He  began  his  duties  as  Chief  of 
Chaplains  on  15  July  1920.  He  was  reappointed  in  1924  and  served  a 
second  four-year  term."^ 

Axton  was  born  28  July  at  Salt  Lake  City,  Utah.  He  attended  public 
school  there  at  Hammond  Hall  Academy.  In  June  1901,  he  was  ordained 
a  minister  of  the  Congregational  Church.  Chaplain  Axton  began  his  mili- 
tary career  on  25  July  1902,  when  he  was  appointed  a  chaplain  in  the 
United  States  Army  with  the  grade  of  captain.^"  He  served  in  the  Philip- 
pines, on  the  Mexican  border,  and  in  various  posts  in  the  United  States. 

Chaplain  Moody  felt  that  from  the  establishment  of  the  Chief's 
Office  dated  much  of  the  improvement  within  the  chaplaincy.  Institution- 
alization was  not  a  word  totally  to  be  feared  as  chaplain  duties  were  more 
clearly  defined  by  regulations,  official  publications,  and  doctrine.  The 
chaplain  was  freed  from  serving  as  canteen  officer,  postmaster,  and  ath- 
letic officer.  While  still  answerable  to  his  commanding  officer,  he  had 
the  satisfaction  of  being  under  sympathetic  supervision  of  more  experi- 
enced men  in  the  chaplaincy  to  whom  he  could  look  for  guidance  and  di- 
rection, and  in  some  cases,  protection  in  the  discharge  of  the  ministry 
which  was  peculiarly  his. 

The  supervision  of  chaplain  activities  by  a  central  administrator 
benefited  the  chaplaincy  as  a  whole.  The  practice  was  extended  to  lower 
echelons.  Chaplains  with  important  administrative  functions  were  placed 
in  the  headquarters  of  such  territorial  organizations  as  corps  areas  and 
military  districts,  and  of  divisions  and  higher  tactical  units.  They  had 
their  place  in  the  National  Guard  and  organized  reserves,  and  later,  when 
the  Civilian  Conservation  Corps  was  established,  a  measure  of  supervisory 
responsibility  was  placed  upon  the  senior  chaplain  in  each  district.  The 
fear  of  sectarian  bias  seldom  materialized.  Chaplain  Honeywell  wrote, 
"What  a  chaplain  of  a  widely  different  faith  said  of  one  administrator 
might  have  been  said  of  most  others :  'He  leans  over  backward  to  avoid 
any  favoritism  to  his  own  group.'  "  ^^ 

During  eight  years  as  Chief,  Axton,  an  articulate  spokesman  in  his 
Senate  committee  appearances  and  staff  writings,  established  the  Office 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

10  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  fought  the  battles  to  have  insignia  of  grade 
returned  to  the  chaplain's  uniform,  and  to  increase  the  size  of  the  chaplain 
branch,  presided  over  the  significant  growth  in  numbers  of  chaplains  in 
the  Officers'  Reserve  Corps,  and  initiated  the  practice  of  visits  to  the  field 
by  the  Chief.  During  his  administration  chaplains  were  better  trained, 
equipped,  assigiied,  and  administered.  The  Chaplains'  School  Class  Bulle- 
tin of  1926  refered  to  him  as  "a  most  loyal  friend  and  promoter  of  the 
Chaplains  School  from  its  inception,  and  much  of  its  success  is  due  to  his 
interest  and  support."  The  Bulletin  also  revealed  that  his  son,  John 
Thomas  Axton,  Jr.,  author  of  a  brief  history  of  the  chaplaincy,  was  a  chap- 
lain instructor  on  the  faculty  of  the  school  that  year.'^" 

The  Chief's  Office  at  first  included  three  chaplains,  three  Army  field 
clerks,  and  several  civilian  employees  loaned  by  the  Adjutant  General. 
(A.S.  Goodyear,  one  of  the  Army  field  clerks,  served  in  the  Chief's  Office 
until  his  retirement  after  Warld  War  II  in  the  grade  of  Colonel.)  The 
office  grew  in  size  and  complexity,  but  a  pattern  for  efficiency,  later 
singled  out  for  commendation  by  the  Chief  of  StaflP  of  the  Army,  was 

Axton  officiated  at  the  burial  of  the  Unknown  Soldier  in  Arlington 
National  Cemetary  on  11  November  1921.  At  a  dinner  in  the  Cosmos 
Club  to  recognize  the  twenty-fifth  anniversary  of  Axton's  Army  service, 
a  testimonial  signed  by  three  hundred  reserve  chaplains  was  delivered, 
and  read  as  follows : 

As  chaplain  of  the  Reserve  Corps,  we  extend  to  you,  on  the  occasion 
of  your  25th  anniversary  of  service  with  the  Army,  an  expression  of  our 
loyalty  and  friendship  and  our  deep  appreciation  for  all  that  God  has  en- 
abled you  to  do,  for  our  nation,  for  the  men  of  the  Army  and  for  your 
fellow  Chaplains,  a  service  which  you  have  ever  rendered  with  unselfish- 
ness and  consideration  for  your  associates. 

At  the  same  time  he  was  handed,  on  behalf  of  these  chaplains,  an 
order  for  a  1928  model  Buick  sedan.'^ 

The  testimonial  dinner  reflected  the  regard  in  which  he  was  held  by 
fellow  chaplains.  Sectarian  and  dictatorial  fears  were  laid  to  rest.  Chap- 
lains were  familiar  with  the  Scriptural  injunctions  against  lording  it  over 
others,  and  remembered,  "And  whosoever  will  be  chief  among  you,  let 
him  be  your  servant."  ^*  An  experiment  had  worked  not  only  because  it 
had  the  force  of  law,  but  because  the  personality  of  the  man  chosen  was 
to  move  with  deliberate  caution  for  the  chaplaincy.  It  is  also  a  revealing 
look  at  an  earlier  and  simpler  society,  before  gifts  were  forbidden  and  rela- 
tionships more  formalized.  After  retirement,  Axton  served  as  chaplain  at 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Rutgers  University  until  his  death.''  He  was  not  only  the  first  Chief,  he  was 
one  of  only  two  who  were  reappointed  for  a  second  full  term. 

Chaplain  Axton  was  succeeded  by  Edmund  Pepperell  Easterbrook. 
Appointed  Chief  on  7  April  1928,  he  served  until  his  retirement  for  health 
and  age  on  22  December  1929.  Although  he  was  Chief  for  less  than  two 
years,  another  chaplain  said  of  him,  "What  he  was,  rather  than  what  he 
did,  was  his  contribution."  ''  Easterbrook  was  born  in  Torquay  in  Devon, 
England,  on  22  December  1865.  He  attended  school  in  England  and 
graduated  from  Torquay  PubHc  College.  The  western  shire  of  Devon 
looks  out  upon  both  channels  and  the  wanderlust  has  long  infected  her 
people.  Easterbrook's  mother  was  born  on  board  a  sailing  vessel,  so  it  was 
not  surprising  that  in  early  manhood  he  looked  for  a  new  home  beyond 
the  sea.  He  attended  Drew  Theological  Seminary  in  New  Jersey,  served 
three  pastorates  in  New  York,  and  became  a  member  of  Troy  Conference 
of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  North.  From  July  1898  to  the  fol- 
lowing April  he  served  at  home  or  in  Cuba  as  chaplain  of  New  York 
volunteers.  This  experience  impressed  him  with  the  opportunities  avail- 
able to  chaplains  in  serving  soldiers  in  peace  and  war.  He  was  appointed 
a  chaplain  in  the  Regular  Army  31  January  1900.''  He  served  twice  in 
the  Philippines  during  the  insurrection  there,  at  various  posts  in  the 
United  States,  including  thirteen  years  in  the  Puget  Sound  forts  (Flagler, 
Worden,  Casey,  etc. )  and  was  ordered  to  Europe  in  the  summer  of  1918. 
He  succeeded  Bishop  Brent  as  the  AEF  chaplain  and  continued  in  that 
position  throughout  the  occupation. 

The  wanderlust  continued  to  be  an  enjoyable  part  of  his  character. 
He  wrote  articles  and  lectured  to  the  troops  on  his  travels  through  Pal- 
estine, Egypt,  and  Asia  Minor,  Australia,  Tasmania,  Japan,  and  the 
Philippines.  He  studied  and  spoke  Spanish,  considered  himself  a  good 
hospital  chaplain,  and  served  as  post  librarian  and  superintendent  of 
schools  for  enlisted  men  and  their  dependents.  He  organized  entertain- 
ments, including  a  minstrel  troupe.  His  character  building  lectures 
fathered  the  Character  Guidance  program."*^  Two  memorial  windows 
in  the  historic  Church  of  the  Centurion,  Fort  Monroe,  Virginia,  were 
presented  to  the  church  and  garrison  by  Easterbrook's  five  children  in 
memory  of  their  parents.'^ 

Julian  E.  Yates  succeeded  Chaplain  Easterbrook  23  December  1929. 
Chaplain  Yates  was  born  at  Williams  Mills,  North  Carolina,  23  October 
1871.  He  was  educated  at  Wake  Forest  College,  North  Carolina,  where 
he  earned  the  degrees  of  A.B.,  and  A.M.  He  gained  the  degree  of  Th.B. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

12  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

from  the  University  of  Chicago.  Yates  was  appointed  a  chaplain  13 
March  1902.  He  served  in  the  Philippines  and  France;  and  at  Forts 
Leavenworth,  Terry,  McHenry,  Howard,  Hancock,  Adams,  Stuart, 
Eustis,  Myer,  and  Oglethorpe  in  the  United  States.  His  duties  in  Europe 
and  at  Fort  Myer  caused  one  statistically  minded  biographer  to  point 
out  that  Chaplain  Yates  held  the  record  for  interments;  1,614  in  Brest, 
and  2,902  at  Arlington.  He  wrote  a  training  manual  under  Axton's 
direction.  The  Chaplain,  His  Place  and  Duties,  and  was  responsible  for 
the  Army's  efforts  in  the  assembling  of  The  Army  and  Navy  Hymnal. 
During  his  administration  as  Chief,  the  reserve  section  was  steadily  in- 
creased and  greatly  improved  in  esprit  de  corps,  The  Chaplain's  As- 
sociation was  launched,  and  The  Army  Chaplain  magazine  began 

Further  Steps  Toward  Organization 

A  proposal  that  the  chaplains  be  established  as  a  corps  was  favored 
by  General  Pershing.  Advanced  by  the  War  Plans  Division  in  191 7,  it  was 
approved  by  the  Secretary  of  War,  but  Congress  took  no  action  at  that 
time.  A  bill  to  establish  such  a  corps  passed  the  Senate  in  1920,  but  this 
provision  was  voted  out  of  what  finally  became  the  National  Defense  Act 
of  that  year.  Subsequent  legislation  used  the  phrase  "Corps  of  Chaplains," 
and  this  could  be  interpreted  as  establishing  the  corps  by  implication. 
So  could  an  act  of  21  November  1941  "to  constitute  an  Army  Chaplain's 
[sic]  Corps  with  a  brigadier  general  as  Chief"  had  not  the  specific  provi- 
sion for  a  corps  been  deleted  from  that  part  of  the  bill  governed  by  the  en- 
acting clause.  (The  officer  Personnel  Act  of  1947  and  the  Army  Organiza- 
tion Act  of  1950  leave  no  doubt  that  the  chaplains  no  longer  constitute  a 
corps,  if  they  ever  did.)*^  Unlike  all  other  corps,  chaplains  held  no  com- 
mand positions  and  the  need  to  be  organized  even  into  a  branch  met  with 
resistance.  The  question  involved  certain  practical  considerations.  It  had 
been  urged  for  years  that  an  enlisted  branch  of  the  Chaplain's  Corps  be  es- 
tablished so  that  assistants  might  be  especially  trained  for  this  service  as 
a  career. 

Pershing,  in  his  capacity  as  Chief  of  the  Army,  in  1923  called  a  num- 
ber of  the  nation's  leading  clergymen  to  a  Conference  on  Morale  and 
Religious  Work  in  the  Army.  In  greeting  the  members  of  this  conference 
he  said : 

This  conference  has  been  called  with  the  hope  and  expectation  that 
you  leaders  in  the  churches  and  welfare  organizations  will  aid  us  in  devis- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


ing  and  carrying  forward  an  intensified  program  for  the  Army  along 
moral  and  religious  lines — a  program  the  whole  purpose  of  which  shall 
be  to  keep  soldiers  true  and  strong  and  steady.^" 

This  statement  not  only  reflected  the  concern  of  parents,  educators 
and  religious  leaders  mentioned  earlier,  but  it  put  emphasis  on  the  role 
of  the  chaplain  as  one  who  steadied  the  soldier  to  do  a  soldier's  job.  The 
conference  made  a  number  of  specific  recommendations  which  included 
the  continuance  of  a  Chaplain  School,  publication  of  a  manual  for  chap- 
lains, a  study  to  be  made  of  equipment  needs,  the  building  of  chapels,  and 
the  organization  of  a  chaplains'  corps  so  that  every  soldier  would  have 
the  services  of  a  chaplain.  In  reference  to  the  status  of  chaplains,  it 
recommended : 

That  the  Congress  of  the  United  States  so  legislate  that  the  grades  in 
the  Chaplain's  Corps  shall  include  the  rank  of  colonel,  and  that  advance- 
ment be  placed  upon  an  equality  with  other  noncombatant  branches  of 
the  Army.  Also  that  the  grade  of  Chief  of  Chaplains  be  in  accordance 
with  the  heads  of  the  other  departments  of  the  military  service.^^ 

The  conference  commended  the  War  Department  for  initiating  the 
periodic  visits  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  to  military  installations  and 
urged  that  the  various  denominations  establish  an  intimate  working  re- 
lationship with  their  respective  chaplains  and  give  them  whatever  moral 
and  other  support  might  be  feasible.*^  Ultimately,  most  of  the  confer- 
ence's recommendations  became  realities.  The  interest  of  churchmen  in 
their  clergy  in  uniform  had  far  reaching  implications.  Catholic,  Protes- 
tant, and  Jewish  leaders  again  and  again  lobbyed  on  Capitol  Hill  for  a 
stronger  chaplaincy.  Closer  association  of  endorsing  agencies  led  to  higher 
standards  and  requirements  before  an  applicant  was  approved  to  the 
Army  as  a  chaplain. 

Reserve  and  National  Guard  Chaplains 

A  development  ranking  in  importance  with  the  creation  of  the  Office 
of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  was  the  establishment  and  development  of  an 
effective  reserve  program.  This  was  suggested  as  early  as  1917  by  the  Sur- 
geon General. ^^  From  earliest  times  militia  chaplains  were  locally  chosen, 
many  of  them  for  a  single  year,  though  some  were  reappointed.  The  rule 
that  only  those  Federally  recognized  could  be  called  into  Federal  service 
established  high  standards  for  chaplains  of  the  National  Guard.  They 
were  encouraged  to  apply  for  a  parallel  commission  in  the  Officers'  Re- 
serve Corps.^*^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

14  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

The  first  chaplains  to  receive  reserve  appointment  were  1 00  students 
of  the  Chaplain  School  who  graduated  after  the  Armistice.  Chaplains  of 
the  National  Army  who  had  served  in  the  war  were  invited  to  apply  for 
commissions  in  the  Regular  Army  or  Officers'  Reserve  Corps.  By  1925, 
over  1,100  accepted  Reserve  commissions."  Their  commissions  had  to  be 
renewed  every  five  years  and  retention  and  promotion  depended  on  con- 
tinued training  through  correspondence  courses  and  summer  camps. 

Those  chaplains  who  had  not  served  on  active  duty  were  required  to 
be  college  and  seminary  graduates  between  21  and  60  years  of  age.  In 
1931  the  upper  limit  was  reduced  to  35.'^  The  Chief  reported  that  pro- 
curement was  hampered  by  this  change.  Mobilization  plans  of  1925  called 
for  a  goal  of  1,870  Regular  Army  and  Reserve  Chaplains,  a  goal  which 
was  not  reached.  Axton  blamed  both  the  reduction  in  age  and  the  pacifist 
movement  for  this  failure.  Writing  to  the  Adjutant  General  to  raise  the 
baron  age,  he  said: 

In  view  of  the  pacifist  tendency  of  many  leaders  of  religious  work  it 
seems  especially  resirable  that  when  outstanding  clergymen  are  anxious 
to  express  .  .  .  approval  of  national  defense  plans  ...  by  identifying 
themselves  with  the  organized  Reserves,  no  bar  to  appointment  should  be 
raised  until  such  time  as  the  complete  number  required  by  mobilization 
plans  has  been  reached.'*® 

The  Chief  didn't  emphasize  the  importance  of  training  clergymen 
for  instant  service  in  the  event  of  national  emergency;  if  he  had,  whether 
his  arguments  would  have  been  more  effective  is  a  matter  for  conjecture. 
The  wisdom  of  having  a  ready  reserve  pool  of  chaplains  was  not  revealed 
for  another  decade.  There  simply  was  no  record  of  such  contingency  plan- 
ning, doubtless  because  it  was  alien  to  the  thinking  of  the  period.  In  the 
early  20's  it  was  believed  that  aggressive  militarism  must  surely  be  a  thing 
of  the  past.  Eisenhower  told  of  the  reaction  among  industrialists  when 
he  tried  to  suggest  contingency  planning  to  them:  "It  was  difficult  to 
arouse  any  interest  at  all.  There  was  not  going  to  be  a  war,  they  felt."  ^° 
This  widespread  feeling  made  adequate  training  for  Reserve  chaplains  a 
problem.  Among  them  were  bishops,  professors,  secretaries  of  boards  and 
agencies,  and  pastors  of  large  and  small  parishes.  Most  of  them  were  busy, 
and  some  found  it  all  but  impossible  to  be  away  from  their  pastoral  duties 
for  many  days  at  a  time.  It  was  a  matter  of  choosing  priorities,  and  the 
immediate,  pressing  needs  of  the  pastorate  won  out  over  preparations 
for  defense  that  appeared  unnecessary. 

Since  some  reservists  were  graduates  of  the  1918  Chaplain  School, 
and  some  had  no  active  duty  time,  minimum  training  requirements  were 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


established  for  those  who  would  remain  eligible  for  assignment  and  pos- 
sible active  duty.  A  training  plan  developed  in  the  Chief's  office  contem- 
plated 2  weeks  of  summer  training  camp  duty  each  year.  But  the  nation 
also  had  its  priorities,  and  funds  were  seldom  available  for  all  who  wished 
to  attend;  some  even  volunteered  to  serve  without  pay.  Many  Regular 
chaplains  conducted  brief  schools  for  Reserve  chaplains  near  their  sta- 
tions; but  the  chief  agency  for  the  military  education  of  chaplains  of  the 
reserve  components  was  the  correspondence  course  developed  by  the 
Chaplain  School  and  administered  by  the  corps  areas  and  comparable 
units. ^^ 

Selection  and  Appointment 

Clergymen  seeking  appointment  as  chaplains  in  the  Regular  or  Re- 
serve components  were  required  to  be  indorsed  by  some  authorized  ecclesi- 
astical body.  The  first  legislation  requiring  such  indorsement  was  the  Act 
of  17  July  1862.  The  Federal  Council  of  the  Churches  of  Christ  in  Amer- 
ica established  the  General  Committee  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains 
early  in  World  War  I,  and  it  continued  to  be  the  coordinating  body  and 
indorsing  agency  for  much  of  protestantism.  The  Military  Ordinariate, 
and  the  Jewish  Welfare  Board  performed  similar  functions  for  Catholic 
and  Jewish  applicants.  AR  605-30  ga\e  specific  guidance  to  applicants : 

Practically  every  denomination  has  a  commission  or  committee  or 
individual  with  authority  to  act  in  cases  of  this  kind.  These  agencies  now 
of  record  are  as  follows : 

a.  For  the  Protestant  Episcopal  Church,  the  Army  and  Navy  Com- 
mission of  the  Protestant  Episcopal  Church,  281  Fourth  Avenue,  New 
York  City. 

b.  For  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  the  Chaplain  Bishop,  Catholic 
Army  and  Navy  Chaplains,  Ordinariate,  110  East  12th  Street,  New 
York  City. 

c.  For  Jewish  rabbis,  the  chairman  of  the  Jewish  Welfare  Board, 
352  Fourth  Avenue,  New  York  City. 

d.  For  the  Unitarian  Church,  the  president  of  the  Unitarian  So- 
ciety, 25  Beacon  Street,  Boston,  Mass. 

e.  For  the  Christian  Scientist  Church,  Committee  on  Publication 
of  the  First  Church  of  Christ,  Scientist,  236  Huntington  Avenue,  Boston, 

f.  The  General  Committee  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains  of  the 
Federal  Council  of  Churches  of  Christ  in  America,  Woodward  Build- 
ing, W^ashington,  D.C.,  functions  as  the  liaison  agency  for  all  denomina- 
tions not  mentioned  above. 

To  comply  with  the  law  a  candidate  must  obtain,  through  the  ap- 
propriate agency,  the  official  appro\al  of  his  denomination  before  he  may 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

16  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

be  considered  for  appointment  in  the  Army.  Failure  to  do  this  will  mean 
delav  and  possible  rejection,  making  way  for  other  applications  that  have 
been  filed  in  the  proper  way."^ 

Applicants  then  appeared  before  an  Army  board  which  reviewed 
their  indorsements  and  quahfications,  and  selected  the  best  qualified  for 
commissions.  At  first  this  was  a  responsibility  of  the  Adjutant  General's 
office,  but  selections  were  transferred  to  the  Chief  of  Chaplains'  office  due 
to  the  complexity  of  the  "quota  system"  within  denominations.  In  select- 
ing clergymen  for  service  as  chaplains,  the  primary  objective  was  to  pro- 
vide satisfactory  services  of  worship  and  other  religious  observances  for 
the  greatest  possible  number  of  military  personnel.  Based  upon  the  re- 
ligious census  of  1916,  98.2  percent  of  any  authorized  chaplains  were 
divided  among  22  religious  bodies  determined  by  each  group's  member- 
ship figures.  The  remainder  were  divided  up  among  churches  too  small 
to  qualify  for  a  chaplain  space  in  the  Army.  The  small  number  of  Regular 
Army  chaplains  required  their  selection  from  the  larger  denominations, 
but  appointments  in  the  Reserve  Corps  were  made  without  reference  to 
quotas.  The  quotas  were  revised  regularly. on  the  basis  of  the  latest 
census. ^^ 

Chaplain  George  Ford,  Secretary  of  the  Chaplain  School,  saw  se- 
lection as  the  most  urgent  need  in  upgrading  the  quality  of  the  chaplaincy. 
He  said: 

We  got  men  whom  you  could  tell  would  never  make  it  in  the  chap- 
laincy. They  lacked  common  sense,  a  sense  of  humor,  and  the  ability  to 
mix  with  soldiers  in  a  free  way.  If  soldiers  found  out  they  could  upset  a 
chaplain  by  using  profanity  they  would  increase  it  in  his  presence.  There 
are  things  you  had  to  overlook,  and  things  you  could  not.  Knowing  which 
was  which  made  all  the  difference.  Many  of  these  clergymen  were  good 
moral  men,  but  they  couldn't  relate  to  soldiers.  Better  selection  processes 
would  have  made  a  stronger  chaplaincy."  ^* 

The  Chaplain  School 

Chaplain  training  had  a  specific  meaning  within  the  Army,  The 
Army  did  not  teach  men  to  be  clergymen;  that  was  the  responsibility  of 
the  seminary,  the  pastorate,  and  the  requirements  of  the  individual  de- 
nominations. Army  schools  for  chaplains,  doctors,  lawyers,  and  other 
qualified  professionals  had  the  responsibility  of  training  civilian  profes- 
sionals to  become  Army  professionals.  How  to  wear  the  uniform,  march, 
and  salute;  customs  of  the  service;  organization  and  chain  of  command; 
the  use  of  special  equipment ;  responsibility  for  those  of  other  faiths ;  func- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


tioning  within  the  institution;  these  were  the  training  tasks  of  the  service 
school  for  chaplains. 

For  many  years  chaplain  training  consisted  of  placing  new  chaplains 
in  the  office  of  an  experienced  colleague  for  the  first  few  months  of  an 
initial  assignment.  The  new  chaplain  was  not  assigned  to  the  experienced 
man,  nor  was  there  any  "commander"  relationship  between  them;  it  was 
simply  a  form  of  on-the-job  training.  It  was  a  hit  and  miss  proposition, 
narrowly  limited,  and  seldom  gave  new  men  the  balanced  introduction 
to  their  duties  that  later  assignments  required. 

In  November  1919a  board  of  5  chaplains,  including  3  who  were  ac- 
tive in  training  during  the  war,  convened  in  Washington  to  consider  train- 
ing plans.  This  group  recommended  the  establishment  of  a  permanent 
school  to  conduct  a  5 -month  basic  course  twice  each  year  and  to  develop 
an  advanced  course  later.  Its  stated  purposes  were  to  train  chaplains  to 
serve  men  of  other  denominations ;  prepare  them  as  Army  officers  so  they 
could  mingle  with  others  on  an  impartial  level;  save  them  from  embar- 
rassing blunders  by  teaching  them  Army  regulations  and  customs;  pre- 
pare them  to  serve  as  defense  counsel  through  familiarity  with  military 
law;  let  them  learn  from  more  experienced  chaplains;  rub  elbows  with 
those  of  different  faiths;  help  "rid  individuals  of  mannerisms  and  de- 
fects"; standardize  activities  on  a  high  level;  and  give  chaplains  an  ap- 
preciation of  the  military  institution  and  its  history. ^^ 

Orders  for  implementing  the  board's  recommendations  were  issued 
by  the  Adjutant  General  on  28  January  1920,  and  the  school  opened  at 
Camp  Grant,  Illinois,  on  15  May  with  a  staff  of  5  chaplains,  10  other  offi- 
cers, and  a  student  body  of  15,  a  ratio  of  one  to  one.^*' 

Chaplain  George  B.  Ford  served  as  the  school's  first  secretary.  He  was 
graduated  from  Niagara  University  with  the  class  of  1908,  entered  St.  Jo- 
seph's Seminary  at  Dunwoodie  and  was  ordained  to  the  priesthood  in  the 
archdiocese  of  New  York  in  June  of  1914.  He  served  as  a  curate  in  Monti- 
cello  and  New  York  City,  and  entered  the  Army  in  1918.'"'  In  February  of 
1976,  at  the  age  of  90,  an  interview  revealed  that  he  was  amazingly  clear 
in  his  recall  of  events,  names,  and  the  flavor  of  the  times. 

He  recalled  reporting  to  Camp  Grant,  where  the  Commanding  Gen- 
eral handed  him  a  check  for  $10,000  and  told  him  to  go  to  Marshall  Field 
in  Chicago  and  buy  the  furniture,  desks,  and  equipment  necessary  to  set 
up  the  school !  Obviously  the  requirements  of  paper  work  have  changed 
in  the  past  fifty-plus  years. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

18  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

There  was  a  chaplains'  school  of  sorts  during  the  war,  in  France; 
later,  one  was  set  up  in  the  United  States.  Both  were  intended  as  "quick- 
fix"  remedies  to  wartime  problems.  The  1920  school  was  the  first  peace- 
time school.  All  chaplains  commissioned  since  1  January  1913 — except 
graduates  of  the  wartime  school — were  eligible.  AR  350-150,  20  Septem- 
ber 1920,  outlined  the  course  of  study  and  provided  that  the  commanding 
officer  of  the  post  be  commandant,  and  a  chaplain  selected  by  the  War 
Department  serve  as  director.  Twenty-one  subjects  were  named  in  the 
curriculum,  a  total  of  about  280  hours  of  instruction.^^  Physical  Training 
and  Map  Reading  were  two  of  the  student  "favorites"  recalled  by  Chap- 
lain Ford.  "The  training  days  started  at  6  A.M.  and  continued  until  10 
P.M.  The  men  were  kept  busy." 

His  opinion  of  the  school  was  that : 

We  (the  faculty)  learned  a  lot  after  the  first  year.  Some  of  the 
courses,  like  equitation,  were  useless.  Most  of  the  courses  were  taught  by 
line  officers  who  were  fine  men,  but  knew  nothing  about  the  chaplaincy. 
To  offset  that  we  invited  prominent  clergymen  from  the  community  to 
address  the  students,  liut  they  knew  nothing  about  the  Army.  What  was 
needed  was  a  way  of  imparting  practical,  applicable,  common  sense  to 
men  with  good  intentions  but  no  experience.  The  new  men  welcomed 
the  school,  but  those  who  had  been  in  awhile,  and  were  ordered  to  return, 
resented  it. 

Correspondence  shuttled  back  and  forth  between  the  Director  and 
the  Chief  of  Chaplains  concerning  modification  of  the  curriculum.  More 
practical  work,  related  to  the  chaplains'  everyday  duties,  and  more  in- 
struction of  chaplains  by  chaplains  resulted  as  continuing  sessions  "edu- 
cated" the  faculty.  The  course  was  expanded  to  6  months  in  1922.  Later 
sessions  were  about  three  months  long,  and  the  last  two  did  not  exceed  six 

The  school  remained  at  Camp  Grant  during  four  sessions  but  was 
moved  to  Camp  Knox,  Kentucky,  in  the  summer  of  1921.  The  odyssey  of 
the  chaplain  school  (some  14  moves  to  the  present)  was  begun.  The  next 
move  was  to  Fort  Wayne,  Michigan,  in  the  autumn  of  1922.  After  three 
sessions  there  the  school  moved  to  Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas.  Five  ses- 
sions were  held  there. 

So  few  chaplains  could  attend  that  the  course  was  offered  only  once 
each  year,  and  biennial  classes  were  proposed.  Six  students  attended  in 
1926,  2  the  next  year,  and  only  1  was  available  for  1928.  Two  chaplains 
and  20  officers  of  the  Command  and  General  StaflF  Schools  gave  the 
instruction,  and  the  commandant  declared  it  a  waste  of  energy  for  so 

See  footnotes  at  end   of  chapter. 


many  to  "shadow  box  with  one  student."  The  director  recommended  that 
the  school  be  closed  unless  more  students  could  be  obtained.  One  Regular 
and  11  Reserve  chaplains  attended  a  short  term  in  1928.  Though  the 
chaplains  stationed  at  Fort  Leavenworth  were  considered  the  faculty  of 
the  school  for  years  and  w^orked  on  extension  courses,  instruction  for 
resident  students  was  not  offered  again.  Eleven  sessions  of  the  peace- 
time school  were  held  and  a  total  of  189  students  attended.  At  least  20 
of  these  were  Reserve  chaplains.*^"  What  caused  the  demise  of  the 
Chaplain  School?  Commanders  were  often  reluctant  or  unwilling  to  be 
without  a  chaplain  in  their  unit  for  the  number  of  weeks  or  months  re- 
quired to  attend  the  school ;  that  was  one  reason  why  the  length  of  the 
course  continued  to  be  cut.  There  was  an  underlying  current  of  nonsupport 
that  raised  the  question  of  why  chaplains  needed  a  school,  since  they  were 
already  trained  clergymen.  Training  funds  were  scarce  and  other 
branches  viewed  the  school's  resources  with  envy.  Finally,  the  chaplain 
branch  was  small — only  1 25  chaplains  were  on  active  duty — and  retention 
was  not  a  problem,  so  that  few  new  chaplains  were  coming  on  active  duty. 
Reserves  would  have  "saved"  the  school,  but  the  decision  was  made  to 
train  them  by  correspondence  rather  than  in  residence.  This  soon  became 
the  only  mission  of  the  school  until  it  was  reactivated  in  World  War  II. 

An  added  benefit  of  the  school,  when  it  was  in  operation,  was  fellow- 
ship for  chaplains.  Scattered  thinly  and  widely  throughout  the  Army,  the 
School  gave  them  an  opportunity  to  meet  and  know  one  another  to 
compare  experiences,  and  to  be  exposed  to  men  of  other  faiths.  The 
real  genesis  for  ecumenism  among  Army  chaplains  was  in  those  friendly 
contacts.  Chaplain  Ford  said  : 

"One  of  the  things  I  tried  to  do  was  to  get  the  Catholics  and  Protes- 
tants to  talk  to  one  another.  During  breaks  between  classes  Catholics 
talked  to  Catholics  and  Protestants  to  Protestants.  I  tried  to  mix  them  up 
a  bit  ...  a  mission  in  \vhich  I  was  only  partially  successful";  however 
feeble,  it  was  a  beginning. 

Other  Training 

Section  127a  of  the  National  Defense  Act  of  1920  authorized  the 
assignment  of  officers  to  civilian  schools  as  students.  Twenty-five  chaplains 
studied  in  some  civilian  school  during  the  period  from  1923-41.  Au- 
thorization was  one  thing  and  funds  another.  Shortage  of  funds  hampered 
the  effectiveness  of  the  program,  but  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  was  able 
to  negotiate  an  arrangement  with  the  Univeristy  of  Chicago  and  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

20  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Catholic  University  of  America  by  which  he  could  send  men  to  these 
institutions  for  only  $60  a  year.  Originally,  four  men  each  year,  new 
to  the  Army,  were  selected  to  go ;  but  a  later  Chief  changed  the  policy  on 
the  grounds  that  such  training  would  be  more  valuable  after  a  chaplain 
had  served  several  years  with  troops. 

Chaplains  selected  were  ordered  to  Fort  Sheridan,  Illinois,  05  Fort 
Meade,  Maryland,  three  months  prior  to  the  opening  of  the  appropriate 
university,  depending  on  their  denomination.  There,  under  experienced 
chaplains,  and  through  a  correspondence  course  from  the  chaplain  school, 
they  were  instructed  and  supervised ;.  they  also  were  assigned  preaching 
duties  on  the  post. 

The  plan  was  met  by  mixed  reactions.  Some  students  of  extremely 
conservative  background  were  greatly  distressed  and  upset  by  the  ultra- 
modern instruction,  causing  one  Chief  of  Chaplains  to  observe  that  they 
became  confused  and  did  not  remain  long  enough  to  think  their  psycho- 
logical and  spiritual  problems  through  to  an  intelligent  conviction. 
Another  Chief  added  that  he  saw  little  evidence  of  enhanced  usefulness 
in  the  later  records  of  men  who  took  these  advanced  studies.  Many  who 
attended,  however,  declared  they  were  greatly  benefited  by  this  schooling 
and  earnestly  recommended  continuation  of  the  policy.  From  1923  to 
1941,  25  chaplains,  including  Harry  O.  Frazer,  Maurice  W.  Reynolds, 
and  Elmer  C.  Tiedt,  had  the  privilege  of  postgraduate  study." 

The  correspondence  course  developed  by  the  Chaplain  School  be- 
came the  main  method  by  which  Reserve  chaplains  were  trained.  This 
course  as  first  presented  in  1924  included  Practical  Duties  of  Chaplains, 
American  Political  Institutions,  Military  Sociology,  and  six  common 
subcourses  prepared  by  other  branches.  In  1929  a  more  comprehensive 
course  was  divided  between  subjects  appropriate  for  the  study  of  first 
lieutenants  and  those  intended  for  captains.  For  several  years  a  list  of 
books  on  psychology,  government,  and  military  history  was  recommended 
for  reading  by  chaplains  of  field  grade;  one  requirement  for  promotion 
to  the  grade  of  lieutenant  colonel  was  a  certificate  that  at  least  six  of 
these  works  had  been  read. 

Those  responsible  for  course  development  felt  long  courses  discour- 
aged home  study.  A  decision  was  made  that  subjects  requiring  more  than 
30  hours  be  subdivided,  with  20  hours  considered  ideal.  Lessons  requiring 
3  hours  of  work  were  substituted  for  shorter  ones  in  the  belief  that  this 
would  be  about  the  time  most  students  would  devote  to  study  in  an  eve- 
ning. During  the  18-year  life  of  this  extension  course,  85  percent  of  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


men  enrolled  were  commissioned  in  the  Reserve,  14  in  the  National 
Guard,  and  four-tenths  of  one  percent  in  the  Regular  Army.  The  remain- 
der were  civilians  or  enlisted  men  of  one  of  these  components/'' 

Several  local  schools  for  Reserve  chaplains  were  held  by  active  duty 
chaplains  at  their  posts.  One  at  Fort  Monroe  in  1927  had  a  curriculum 
that  covered  customs  of  the  service,  military  writing,  staff  procedures, 
religious  education  instruction,  first  aid,  and  physical  fitness/^ 

Activities  of  Chaplains 

What  did  chaplains  do  from  day  to  day  in  the  particular  units  to 
which  they  were  assigned?  How  did  they  view  their  role  in  the  military, 
and  how  were  they  perceived  by  others?  In  the  preceding  volume  in  this 
series,  Up  From  Handyman,  Earl  F.  Stover  wrote  that  General  Pershing 
got  credit  for  pushing  the  chaplaincy  "up  from  handyman."  Their  earlier 
duties  were  so  ill  defined  that  chaplains  were  employed  during  the  week  as 
post  gardeners,  laundrymen,  commissary  officers,  or  counsels  for  the  de- 
fense during  courts-martial.  The  worst  abuses  were  overcome  by  Per- 
shing's insistence  that  chaplains  be  allowed  to  minister  as  clergymen,  not 

Beginning  in  1920,  chaplains'  monthly  reports  were  sent  through 
channels  to  the  Chief's  Office  rather  than  to  the  Adjutant  General.  This 
enabled  Axton  to  monitor  what  duties  the  chaplains  were  involved  in  and 
make  stronger  recommendations  to  protect  them.  An  example  was  War 
Department  Circular  No.  42,  1921,  entided  "Duties  of  Chaplains."  It 
stated  that  chaplain  duties  were  closely  analogous  to  those  performed  by 
clergymen  in  civilian  life,  but  added  the  duties  of  school  teachers.  Axton 
stated  that  in  Hawaii  five  sevenths  of  the  chaplains'  time  was  used  up  in 
non-religious  duties,  and  that  it  would  do  no  good  to  ask  for  more  chap- 
lains under  such  conditions,  but  instead  chaplains  must  be  protected  by 
regulation  to  spend  their  time  at  their  proper  ministry.  In  1923  he  pro- 
posed a  revision  to  the  regulation  ( AR  60-5 )  which  clearly  defined  chap- 
lains' work  and  permitted  fewer  loopholes.  The  successful  revision  read: 

Chaplains  will  be  employed  on  no  duties  other  than  those  required 
of  them  by  law,  or  pertaining  to  their  profession  as  clergymen,  except 
when  an  exigency  of  the  service  .  .  .  shall  make  it  necessary.  Chaplains  are 
not  available  for  detail  as  post  exchange  officers  or  as  counsel  for  the  de- 
fense in  courts-martial.*^^ 

This  regulation,  developed  by  Axton,  included  chaplain  authoriza- 
tion (1  to  1,200  officers  and  men),  the  work  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains, 
reports,  appointment,  duties,  status,  chaplains'  school,  permission  to  at- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684   O  -  78 

22  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

tend  conventions,  funds,  responsibility  of  commanders  in  relation  to  chap- 
lains, sabbath  observance,  the  chaplain's  flag,  and  graves  registration.*^'^ 

Under  Axton's  direction  a  1926  Training  Manual,  "The  Chaplain, 
His  Place  and  Duties,"  contained  an  elaborate  diagram  of  activities.  (Ap- 
pendix A. )  Although  directives  defined  their  duties,  most  chaplains  found 
themselves  assigned  to  tasks  that  had  little  relationship  to  their  training. 
Chaplain  Benjamin  Tarskey  at  Brooks  Field  in  1920  was  post  librarian, 
morale  officer,  exchange  officer,  and  in  charge  of  the  Army  Service  Club. 
Chaplain  Edward  Branham  at  Luke  Field,  Hawaii,  in  1924  was  chairman 
of  the  athletic  council,  conducted  the  savings  campaign,  and  organized 
the  Mountain  and  Trail  Club  which  emphasized  hiking.''' 

Some  chaplains  did  not  stand  up  to  commanders  regarding  such 
tasks;  others  welcomed  the  extra  duties  as  means  of  reaching  the  un- 
churched, or  because  they  enjoyed  the  activities  as  hobbies.  Still  others 
were  not  clear  as  to  what  it  meant  to  be  a  minister,  priest,  or  rabbi  in 
uniform,  and  in  trying  to  be  generally  helpful  became  errand  boys.  Com- 
manders ran  the  gamut  from  open  hostility  through  barely  disguised  an- 
noyance to  enthusiastic  support.  AR  60-5  noted  that  "ultimate  responsi- 
bility for  matters  of  religious  and  moral  nature  devolves  upon  command- 
ing officers."  In  spite  of  directives  commanders  were  slow  to  give  chap- 
lains the  support  and  guidance  they  needed.  Generally,  effective  chaplain 
programs  depended  on  interested  commanders. 

Chaplain  Maurice  W.  Reynolds  reported  to  the  Commanding  Offi- 
cer, Major  Ralph  Royce,  at  Carlstrom  Field.  Royce  said,  "We're  glad  to 
have  you,  but  what  the  hell  does  a  chaplain  do?"  ''^  Always  there  were 
men  who  rose  to  the  challenge  and  knevv^  vv^hat  they  were  supposed  to  do. 
In  Chaplain  Maurice  Reynolds'  first  10  days  at  Carlstrom  Field  in  1920 
he  arranged  for  a  Catholic  priest  to  conduct  Mass,  set  up  a  Protestant 
Worship  schedule,  began  publication  of  a  post  newspaper,  conducted 
Christmas  services,  and  met  with  all  personnel  to  explain  his  work.  He 
started  an  evening  service  at  which  attendance  rose  to  200,  and  a  guard- 
house service.  Carlstrom  then  had  a  base  population  of  only  490  officers 
and  enlisted  men  and  had  been  without  the  services  of  a  chaplain  for  two 

Chaplain  Benjamin  Tarskey  enjoyed  support  from  his  commander 
and  in  his  report  of  May  1 929  said : 

Our  esteemed  Commanding  Officer,  Lt.  Col.  Arthur  G.  Fisher, 
A.C.,  relinquishes  this  command  the  first  week  of  June  1929.  Advantage 
is  taken  of  the  present  submission  of  the  Chaplain  Monthly  Report  to  ac- 
knowledge the  debt  of  deep  gratitude  to  Colonel  Fisher  for  his  excep- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


tional  interest  and  cooperation  in  encouraging  and  promoting  the  re- 
ligious and  moral  training  program  at  this  station.  He  has  not  only  gener- 
ously aided  our  activities  in  every  possible  way  but  always  by  his  personal 
attendance  on  practically  every  Sunday  at  our  General  Service  has  been  a 
forceful  example  of  leadership  to  the  entire  Command  in  religious  and 
moral  training.' ° 

Chaplain  C.  W.  Branham  wrote  to  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  in  1927  : 

The  Commanding  Officer  of  this  field  is  anxious  to  have  a  good 
chaplain  here.  This  is  in  direct  opposition  to  the  attitude  we  found  when 
we  arrived  here  when  the  adjutant  was  using  the  phone  to  inform  De- 
partment Headquarters  they  did  not  want  any  "Blankety  blank"  chap- 
lains at  Luke  Field. . . .' ^ 

Similar  experiences  characterized  the  entire  chaplaincy;  in  some 
places  enthusiastic  support  by  the  commander,  and  in  other  places  disin- 
terest, confusion,  or  hostility.  Other  factors  also  influenced  the  job  a  chap- 
lain did.  One  wrote  of  conditions  in  1929 : 

I  am  up  against  the  toughest  job  I  ever  faced. ...  No  married  officers 
or  enlisted  men  are  living  on  the  Post,  and  the  enlisted  men  who  live  in 
the  barracks  have  been  so  long  without  a  chaplain  .  .  .  that  they  all  .  .  . 
leave  the  Post  on  Sunday.  ...  I  am  getting  together  a  small  nucleus  of 
men  who  are  .  .  .  religious-minded.  My  first  service  had  12  men.'" 

Within  a  few  months  he  reported  an  average  attendance  of  300. 

Chaplains  conducted  Sunday  services  of  worship  and  in  the  som- 
nolent atmosphere  of  Army  installations  in  the  twenties,  reported  good 
attendance  at  even  hymn  sings,  Bible  studies,  and  mid-week  worship 
services.  Evangelistic  meetings,  baptisms,  weddings,  and  funerals  were 
part  of  their  pastoral  responsibilities.  While  these  events  closely  paralleled 
the  civilian  parish,  Chaplain  Maurice  W.  Reynolds  wrote  Chaplain  Ax- 
ton  in  1921  requesting  guidance  about  and  the  publication  of  directives 
on  the  customs  of  military  weddings  and  funerals.'^ 

Chaplains  visited  their  men  in  barracks,  hospitals,  shops,  training 
areas,  ranges,  and  stockades.  They  worked  with  the  Boy  Scouts,  Red  Cross, 
Salvation  Army,  Community  Chest,  and  the  PTA  program.  Lectures  were 
an  inevitable  part  of  the  chaplain  program.  Sex  hygiene  talks  came  into 
general  acceptance  after  the  war.  Veneral  disease  took  an  alarming  toll 
of  casulties  during  the  war  years,  and  the  peacetime  Army  was  not  indif- 
ferent to  the  effect  of  VD  on  efficiency.  Many  a  pragmatic  commander 
judged  the  efficiency  of  his  chaplain  on  the  rise  and  fall  of  VD  statistics 
in  the  unit.'* 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

24  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

In  June  1928  there  were  only  120  chaplains  in  the  Army,  represent- 
ing 19  denominations,  but  they  conducted  18,890  services  on  military 
reservations  with  an  attendance  of  1,777,018  worshippers;  that  meant  an 
average  attendance  at  13  services  for  each  member  of  the  Regular  Army 
that  fiscal  year."  The  figures  for  other  years  of  the  period  showed  these  to 
be  typical.  While  they  did  not  reflect  who  went  how  often,  they  showed 
that  each  chaplain  conducted  an  average  of  three  worship  services  per 

The  Chief  of  Chaplains  reported  in  1927,  "There  are  many  success- 
ful Sunday  Schools  in  the  Army  with  a  membership  of  from  35  to  100  and 
reports  of  post  chaplains  indicate  that  post  personnel  cooperate  enthusi- 
astically in  carrying  on  this  important  work." 

The  average  weekly  attendance  in  1926  for  some  of  these  was  as 
follows : 

Schofield  Barracks,  Hawaii 248 

Fort  Bragg,  North  Carolina 174 

Fort  Monroe,  Virginia 158 

Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas 135 

The  post  population  in  the  twenties  was  quite  small.  There  were  no 
large  housing  areas  for  dependents,  and  married  noncommissioned  officers 
and  soldiers  were  nearly  a  rarity.  Regulations  forbade  the  marriage  of 
men  in  the  lower  grades,  and  marriage  against  regulations  was  considered 
grounds  for  a  bar  to  re-enlistment.  So  the  Chief  wrote,  "When  one  con- 
siders the  small  number  of  dependents  at  most  posts,  this  is  a  good 
record."  '' 

The  religious  education  program  was  further  hampered  by  lack  of 
supplies,  facilities,  equipment,  religious  educators  and  anything  remotely 
resembling  a  uniform  curriculum.  Sunday  Schools  met  in  mess  halls, 
hangars,  movie  theaters,  and  one  met  in  a  PX.  George  F.  Rixey  (later  the 
first  Deputy  Chief  of  Chaplains)  visited  the  class  and  found  the  children 
chewing  gum  and  eating  candy.  "Where  did  you  get  it?"  he  asked. 
"George  (his  son)  gave  it  to  us."  "Where  did  he  get  it?"  the  chaplain  in- 
quired. The  children  replied  in  a  chorus:  "He  hit  the  jackpot."  Slot  ma- 
chines were  allowed  in  the  PX,  and  his  son  got  lucky.  But  gambling  did  not 
seem  a  proper  activity  for  Sunday  School  children  and  Rixey  solved  the 
problem  by  having  the  machines  removed  and  punch  cards  substituted 
in  their  place.  These  could  be  put  away  during  the  Sunday  School  hour. 
Chaplains  used  imagination  to  overcome  the  difficulties  and  shortages 
that  faced  them  in  the  accomplishment  of  their  mission." 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Educational  Duties 

The  training  manual  for  chaplains  stated : 

an  "expressed  desire  of  the  Government,  in  the  case  of  enlisted  men,  to  return 
them  to  civil  life  at  the  termination  of  military  service  better  equipped  for 
the  ordinary  duties  of  citizenship  than  when  enlisted  ....  While  a  chaplain 
is  not  ordinarily  available  for  detail  as  recreation  officer,  athletic  officer,  or 
educational  officer,  he  may  easily  be  contributory  to  all  of  these.  This  status 
as  defined  in  x^rmy  Regulations  No.  60-5  clearly  indicates  his  obligation  to 
render  such  advice  or  assistance  in  all  these  realms  as  may  be  calculated  to 
contribute  to  the  moral  or  character-building  values  of  each."  '^ 

Lectures  were  commended  to  chaplains  as  a  promising  field,  when 
adequate  study  and  care  were  bestowed  upon  them.  Geography  and  his- 
tory were  considered  good  topics,  especially  for  troops  on  foreign  soil. 
Chaplain  Edmund  Easterbrook,  later  Chief  of  Chaplains,  was  a  good 
example.  He  organized  a  church,  Sunday  School,  and  Bible  class  in  the 
Royal  Palace  at  Coblenz  that  continued  until  occupation  forces  were 
withdrawn  in  1923.  He  often  used  illustrations  and  worked  in  facts  about 
the  area  that  were  of  historical  note,  and  gave  lectures  on  the  history  and 
geography  of  the  area.  Fisher  and  Cohee  did  the  same  in  Tientsin, 
China.'''  Probably  the  most  famous  lecture  of  this  period  was  Alva  J. 
Brasted's  "The  Great  Building,"  which  he  delivered  more  than  400  times. 
Once  more  than  11,000  men  in  Hawaii  gathered  in  an  amphitheatre  to 
hear  it.'° 

The  first  record  of  motion  pictures  being  taken  in  the  Army  was  by 
a  chaplain.  (He  was  later  reprimanded  for  selling  them.  It  was  inter- 
preted as  unauthorized  moonlighting.)^'  Chaplains  introduced  motion 
pictures  as  a  teaching  tool  in  both  religious  education  and  the  secular 
educational  duties  required  of  them.  They  used  slides  and  phonographs  to 
support  discussions  and  lectures  and  were  innovative  in  using  radio  and 
post  newspapers  as  further  avenues  to  reach  the  unchurched.  In  an  earlier 
day,  when  sharp  lines  between  religion  and  education  were  not  finely  and 
distinctly  drawn,  chaplains  lectured  and  taught  classes  on  citizenship  and 
patriotic  themes,  current  events,  and  sociological  subjects  with  religious 
references  and  illustrations  sprinkled  amply  throughout.  Attendance  at 
classes  was  voluntary.  Clubs  for  dramatics,  reading,  and  debate  were 
sponsored  and  encouraged.  Education  was  considered  to  be  character 
building  and  knowledge  good  in  and  of  itself.^'  The  educational  role  of 
the  chaplain  continued  unchallenged  even  into  World  War  II.  Black 
chaplains,  or  white  chaplains  assigned  to  what  were  then  called  "colored" 
units,  spent  much  duty  and  off  duty  time  teaching  the  illiterate  to  read 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

26  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

and  write.  Remedial  classes  in  mathematics,  geography,  government,  his- 
tory, and  other  basic  subjects  gave  the  soldier  a  better  grasp  of  his  herit- 
age, and  more  knowledge  to  face  his  future  within  or  outside  the  military 

Foreign  Service 

The  15th  Infantry  Regiment  served  from  1912  to  1938  in  Tientsin, 
China.  In  the  early  twenties  an  able  and  popular  man.  Chaplain  (Cap- 
tain) Orville  E.  Fisher,  the  Protestant  chaplain,  became  editor  of  the 
regimental  newspaper,  the  Sentinel.  His  column,  "The  Chaplain's  Notes," 
was  a  regular  feature,  and  one  of  the  most  interesting ;  it  doubtless  earned 
him  the  editor's  job.  The  "Notes"  contained  articles  on  the  brain  and  its 
functions;  on  sports  figures  like  a  seventeen-year-old  Chicagoan  with 
more  swimming  records  than  any  other — a  slender  lad  named  Johnny 
WeismuUer;  on  history;  on  literature,  with  quotations  from  Shakespeare, 
Confucius,  Milton;  one  on  the  value  of  a  good  name,  which  cited  the  case 
of  Judge  Landis,  whose  good  name  and  reputation  led  to  his  selection  as 
baseball  commissioner — after  the  scandals — at  $50,000  a  year.®^ 

The  paper  gave  a  good  account  of  life  on  the  post.  A  Mack  Senatt 
comedy,  "Are  Waitresses  Safe?"  played  at  the  recreation  hall,  which  was 
where  services  were  held.  The  theatre  boasted  a  play,  "A  Virtuous 
Vamp."  There  was  a  skating  rink,  a  full  athletic  schedule,  including 
hockey  (they  were  beaten  by  the  Marines)  and  baseball,  basketball,  track 
and  football.  A  notice  in  the  paper  announced :  "Thursday  night  is  Forum 
night.  The  chaplain  will  lead  the  discussion  on  current  topics.  This  is  not 
a  private  talk  on  his  part  but  a  free  for  all  and  open  discussion.  So  load  up 
your  question  ammunition  and  fire  away."  Other  gleanings  revealed  that 
the  Astor  House  Hotel  loaned  palms  for  Palm  Sunday,  that  attendance 
was  building,  and  that  Sunday  evening  movies  and  singing  were  followed 
by  a  talk  by  the  chaplain. 

Little  hints  were  scattered  throughout  the  paper,  such  as,  "You  feed 
your  body  21  times  a  week  whether  it  needs  it  or  not.  Why  not  throw  your 
soul  a  bone  once  a  week  even  if  it  doesn't  seem  to  be  hungry.  The  poor 
thing  may  be  too  weak  to  make  its  wants  known." 

His  sermon  titles  were  printed  in  the  paper  and  included  catchy 
ones  like,  "The  Biggest  Lie";  "Jumping  Frogs"  (about  jumping  to  prej- 
udices with  only  partial  information) ;  "Can  An  Intelligent  Man  Be  A 
Christian?";  "Old  Trick— New  Name";  and  "The  Bible  Verse  Presi- 
dent Harding  Kissed."  *' 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Paragraph  3,  Circular  No.  42,  War  Department,  Feb.  17,  1921 
enjoined  every  chaplain  to  serve  the  moral  and  religious  needs  of  the 
entire  personnel  of  the  command.  Chaplain  Fisher  quoted  it  in  announc- 
ing Jewish  Passover  services  and  Roman  Catholic  Masses  on  Palm  Sun- 
day and  Easter.  He  then  ran  a  long  article  on  the  history  and  meaning  of 
Passover  that  was  quite  interesting.  He  also  urged  soldiers  to  attend 
civilian  Catholic  and  Protestant  churches  in  town.  It  was  noteworthy 
that  as  editor  he  was  listed  as  "Chaplain,"  but  as  business  manager  of  the 
paper  he  was  listed  as  "Captain"  Fisher. ^^ 

Pacifist  and  Constitutional  Opposition 

No  new  arguments  concerning  the  Christian  and  the  issue  of  war 
appeared  in  this  decade.  There  were  conscientious  objectors  and  consci- 
entious participants  who  could  quote  Scripture  to  prove  the  rightness  of 
their  position.  People  felt  strongly  about  religion,  and  how  and  by  whom 
it  should  be  presented  to  men  in  the  Army.  The  most  vocal  enemies  and 
opponents  of  the  chaplaincy  in  this  period  were  not  atheists  and  free 
thinkers,  but  fellow  churchmen.  As  early  as  1924,  The  Christian  Century 
was  demanding,  "Get  the  Churches  out  of  the  Chaplaincy  Business,"  its 
theme  song  until  World  War  H.  Charles  C.  Morrison,  editor  of  the  maga- 
zine, offered  a  resolution  in  1924  that  the  Federal  Council  of  Churches 
cease  making  itself  a  party  to  militarism  by  taking  action  to  refuse  the 
indorsement  of  any  further  chaplains  for  appointment  to  the  Army  or 
Navy.^*^  Another  Christian  Century  editorial  appeared  in  October  1924 
with  the  title  "Christ  or  Caesar — The  Chaplain's  Choice."  Commenting 
on  the  gains  of  the  chaplaincy  it  said : 

Why  should  the  Federal  Council  "care"  if  the  chaplaincy  does 
revert  back  to  the  former  "chaos"?  It  is  none  of  the  church's  business 
whether  it  reverts  or  not,  or  to  what  it  reverts.  This  is  the  war  system's 
business ;  let  the  war  system  look  to  it !  It  is  no  more  the  business  of  the 
Christian  church  to  train  and  furnish  military  chaplains  than  it  is  to  train 
and  furnish  machine  gunners  and  bayoneteers.®' 

John  M.  Thomas,  a  Reserve  chaplain  and  President  of  Pennsylvania 
State  College,  wrote  an  article  for  The  Chaplain  School  Bulletin  in  1925 
in  response  to  the  growing  pacifist  sentiments  within  the  church.  He  said 
pacifism  was  "an  attitude  based  on  ignorance  of  facts  or  refusal  to  con- 
sider conditions  and  tendencies  which  actually  obtain  in  the  affairs  of 
the  nations  of  the  world.  The  cure  of  pacifism,  therefore,  is  knowledge 
and  information."  ^'^  He  went  on  to  point  out  that  to  be  unprepared  for 
war  is  to  invite  war. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

28  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

By  1929  the  churches'  remorse  for  the  excessive  mihtarism  shown 
during  World  War  I  led  to  a  widespread  commitment  to  dogmatic 
Christian  pacifism,  and  the  Federal  Council  of  Churches  greeted  the 
United  States  Senate's  consent  to  the  Kellogg-Briand  Peace  Pact  with 
jubilation :  "Let  church  bells  be  rung,  songs  sung,  prayers  of  thanksgiving 
be  offered  and  petitions  for  help  from  God  that  our  nation  may  ever  fol- 
low the  sprit  and  meaning  of  the  pact."  ^''*  (The  1930's  saw  even  stronger 
opposition  on  pacifist  grounds  and  is  treated  in  the  next  chapter. ) 

Attacks  on  the  chaplaincy  came  from  a  second  ideological  point  of 
view,  the  belief  that  the  chaplaincy  was  unconstitutional.  Since  chaplains 
held  commissions  from  the  government  and  were  paid  from  public  funds, 
critics  held  they  were  in  violation  of  the  provisions  of  the  First  Amend- 
ment to  the  Constitution.  They  favored  a  civilian  chaplaincy  managed 
and  supervised  directly  by  the  churches.  Several  times  the  Chief  of  Chap- 
lains was  prepared  for  action  from  The  Commission  on  Chaplains  of  the 
Army  and  Navy,  but  the  opposition  never  materialized  in  numbers  suffi- 
cient to  force  a  vote  to  change  the  system.  It  was  an  argument  that  was 
never  adequately  addressed,  and  would  pop  up  again  and  again.''" 

The  Insignia  of  Grade  Question 

Another  perennial  question  never  fully  resolved  was  the  status  of  a 
chaplain  as  an  officer.  Chaplains  were  addressed  as  "Chaplain"  rather 
than  as  "Captain"  or  "Major."  This  emphasized  the  functional  role  of 
the  chaplain  as  a  clergyman  in  uniform.  But  it  was  an  officers  uniform. 

During  World  War  I,  General  Pershing,  Bishop  Brent,  Bishop 
McCormick,  and  other  leading  clergy  thought  that  chaplains  could  be 
closer  to  their  men  without  the  insignia  of  grade  on  their  uniforms.  Spe- 
cial Regulations  41  and  42  were  changed  on  7  and  22  May  1918,  at  Per- 
shing's direction,  and  the  insignia  of  grade  was  removed  from  the  uniform. 
Chaplains  were  directed  to  wear  the  cross  on  shoulder  loops  instead  of 
grade  insignia. '^^  This  change  was  observed  generally  in  Europe.^'  Many 
chaplains  in  America  knew  nothing  about  it  and  continued  to  wear  in- 
signia of  grade  as  before. 

Some  chaplains  felt  strongly  that  the  removal  of  the  evidence  of 
grade  was  a  mistake,  and  degraded  the  chaplaincy  in  the  estimation  of 
the  soldier.  Bishop  Brent  changed  his  mind  on  the  question  and  sug- 
gested a  compromise — one  cross  for  lieutenants,  two  crosses  for  captains, 
and  three  for  majors.'"  But  the  suggestion  was  never  adopted.  The  contro- 
versy gained  momentum  when  the  Director  of  the  Chaplain's  School  and 
two  of  his  staff  were  removed  because  they  refused  to  comply  with  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


policy   and    recommended   that   their   students   protest   it   by  writing 

Axton  opposed  the  poHcy  at  the  time  of  its  inception.  Now'  as  Chief 
of  Chaplains,  he  was  in  a  better  position  to  be  heard.  He  wrote : 

The  failure  to  provide  insignia  of  rank  for  chaplains  is  the  occasion 
for  constant  embarrassment  of  members  of  the  corps  and  the  irritations 
growing  out  of  this  are  such  as  to  provide  a  discordant  note  in  and 
among  an  important  group  of  clergymen,  now  numbering  nearly 
thirteen  hundred,  who  are  chaplains  in  the  three  components  of  the 
Army.  These  men,  many  of  them  bishops  and  college  presidents,  are 
constantly  urging  this  office  to  renew  representation  that  has  heretofore 
been  made  for  the  restoration  to  the  uniform  of  some  e\idence  that  men 
in  the  corps,  by  reason  of  years  of  experience  and  exceptional  accomplish- 
ments, advance  in  rank." 

Good  men  can  and  do  differ  on  how  the  mission  of  the  chaplain  should 
be  accomplished  in  a  military  setting.  Chaplain  Daniel  B.  Jorgensen 
wrote : 

The  fact  is  that  ...  an  officer  without  rank  did  not  fit  into  the 
military  structure. 

Further,  it  reenforced  the  old  discrimination  chaplains  had  suffered 
in  being  paid  less  than  authorized  by  their  grades.  Though  chaplains  had 
the  same  financial  obligations  as  other  officers — sometimes  greater  be- 
cause of  their  work — they  had  lower  pay."*^ 

Brent's  influence  in  the  War  Department  was  so  great,  even  though 
he  had  returned  to  civilian  life,  that  Axton  needed  his  support  to  effect 
a  change.  In  1926  Brent  wrote  a  letter  to  the  Chief  of  Staff  convincing  him 
that  a  change  was  necessary.  At  the  Chief  of  Staff's  request  a  board  met 
in  the  Adjutant  GeneraFs  office  to  consider  the  question.  The  Chief  of 
Chaplains  did  his  home\vork  and  brought  to  the  meeting  the  results  of  a 
questionnaire  sent  out  to  active  duty  chaplains.  Of  the  1 26  chaplains  ques- 
tioned, 116  were  emphatic  in  the  opinion  that  insignia  of  rank  should  be 
worn;  two  were  indifferent;  and  seven  said  they  were  satisfied  with  the 
present  arrangement.''' 

A  sample  of  the  answers  on  the  questionnaire  showed  these  state- 
ments entered  in  the  record  of  proceedings : 

"If  a  Chaplain  cannot  win  the  confidence  and  comradeship  of  his 
men  while  wearing  insignia  of  rank,  the  mere  concealment  of  the  fact  that 
he  holds  increased  rank  and  will  not  enable  him  to  do  so."  "Insignia  of 
rank  saves  confusion  and  explanation."  "If  there  is  honor  in  holding  rank 
and  wearing  e\'idence  of  that  honor  the  chaplain  is  as  much  entitled  to  it 
as  other  officers."  "Chaplains  chafe  under  the  very  evident  discrimination 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

30  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

concerning  rank  and  insignia  of  it."  "Increase  in  rank  does  not  necessarily 
increase  the  distance  between  enlisted  men  and  the  chaplain.  Quite  the 
contrary."  "Officers  of  the  line  consider  present  arrangement  a  peculiar 
mistake."  "Give  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains  equal  consideration.  The 
Navy  Chaplains  wear  insignia  of  rank."  "The  removal  of  insignia  of  rank, 
if  carried  to  its  logical  end,  would  put  the  chaplain  out  of  uniform 

"Without  insignia  of  rank  he  is  frequently  mistaken  for  a  w^elfare 
worker,  many  of  whom  have  little  or  no  standing  among  the  soldiers." 
"Misunderstandings,  humiliations  and  absurdities  have  come  into  the 
life  of  the  chaplains  by  reasons  of  the  change."  "I  favor  no  camouflage 
rank.  Make  it  actual."  "The  chaplain  cannot  carry  his  commission  around 
and  flag  every  passerby  with  it.  His  status  should  be  read  and  known  to  all 
men  at  a  glance."  "The  only  symbol  the  army  is  trained  to  respect  is  the 
insignia  of  rank."  "Rank  and  evidence  of  it  contribute  to  respect  and  ef- 
ficiency." "Removal  has  lowered  the  standard  of  the  chaplain  in  the  eyes 
of  the  enlisted  men."  "The  enlisted  man  is  not  going  to  entrust  his  affairs  to 
an  officer  who  cannot  be  entrusted  by  his  government  with  the  emblem 
of  his  rank."  "It  is  a  reflection  on  the  intelligence  of  the  men  of  the  army 
to  say  the  insignia  of  rank  will  keep  the  men  away  from  the  Chaplain." 
"Nothing  is  lost  by  wearing  the  insignia  of  rank;  very  much  is  lost  without 
it."  "If  it  has  seemed  that  the  insignia  of  rank  was  detrimental  to  the 
chaplain  the  fault  was  with  the  chaplain,  not  w  ith  the  insignia."  "Without 
insignia  of  rank  the  Chaplain,  like  the  poor  field  clerk,  is  more  or  less  of  a 
nonentity  in  the  army."  "Some  Bishops  are  naturally  approachable  and 
some  are  not;  it  altogether  depends  upon  the  personality  of  the  man,  not 
the  absence  of  a  Pectoral  Cross  or  Braid  and  Buttons  and  this  is  equally  true 
of  Army  Chaplains.  The  Naval  Chaplain  wears  his  rank ;  I  have  yet  to  hear 
it  stated  that  the  Army  Chaplain  is  more  approachable  personage  than  the 
Naval  Chaplain.  The  Chaplains  of  all  other  armies  wear  their  rank,  there- 
fore, we  must  infer  that  the  American  soldier  is  different  from  his  brother 
who  joins  the  Navy  and  different  from  all  other  men  in  all  other  armies,  in 
that  he  is  afraid  of  a  Chaplain,  because,  forsooth,  he  wears  a  couple  of 
silver  bars  on  his  shoulder."  "*" 

The  Board  reviewed  statements,  listened  to  testimony,  examined  the 
procedures  in  foreign  armies,  and  concluded  on  19  March  1926:  "It  is 
recommended  that  the  insignia  of  rank  be  restored  to  the  uniform  of  the 
Chaplain.  This  recommendation  is  made  in  the  behef  that  an  immediate 
contribution  to  the  efficiency  of  chaplains  will,  result."  Chaplain  Axton 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


commented,  "Many  would  be  made  happy  and  none  unhappy  by  this 
move." '' 

Not  only  was  insignia  of  grade  back  on  the  uniform  after  a  seven 
year  absence,  but  a  Congressional  Act  of  1926  also  guaranteed  for  the 
first  time  in  American  history  that  chaplains  were  given  the  rank,  pay,  and 
allowances  of  their  respective  grades  up  to  and  including  that  of  colonel. 
They  were  to  wear  their  distinctive  insignia — Latin  crosses  for  Catholic 
and  Protestant,  and  tablets  with  the  Star  of  David  for  Jewish — on  their 
lapels.  This  important  legislation  and  its  enactment  gave  chaplains  a  firm 
status  in  the  service."" 

llie  question  of  chaplains  wearing  rank  was  tied  to  whether  they 
should  have  it  in  the  first  place. 

Pershing  said  in  official  correspondence : 

Recommend  legislation  modifying  laws  reference  promotion  of 
Chaplains.  Present  law  authorized  the  grade  of  First  Lieutenant  only 
except  after  long  period  of  service.  The  duties  of  Chaplains  both  in  front 
division  and  in  hospitals  have  been  most  arduous  and  far  exceed  their 
normal  duties  in  peace  time.  To  secure  greater  efficiency  it  has  been 
necessary  to  have  superxisory  chaplains  in  each  division  and  in  each  corps 
as  well  as  the  larger  hospitals.  It  is  fitting  that  chaplains  assigned  to  these 
duties  should  have  rank  commensurate  with  their  responsibilities.  Rec- 
ommend for  the  present  allowance  of  chaplains  for  the  AEF  under  ex- 
isting law  one  Colonel,  eight  Lieutenant  Colonels,  forty  four  Majors,  498 
Captains  and  900  or  more  First  Lieutenants.  I  also  recommend  in  view  of 
the  advancement  of  other  officers  of  the  regular  establishment  that  an  ad- 
vancement of  one  grade  for  the  period  of  the  war  be  authorized  for  all 
Chaplains  of  the  regular  establishment.  I  consider  prompt  remedial 
action  necessary  as  an  act  of  justice  to  the  many  chaplains  who  have  ren- 
dered conspicuous  service. ^"^ 

In  his  final  report  to  the  Adjutant  General,  Bishop  Brent  wrote: 
"Both  in  theory  and  experience  the  truth  has  been  driven  home  that  the 
chaplain  must  be  an  integral  part  of  the  military  establishment  which  he 
serves  if  he  is  going  to  reach  his  highest  effectiveness."  Writing  about 
"welfare  officers"  in  the  same  report  he  said,  "Experience  seems  to  indi- 
cate that  in  many  instances  the  chaplain  was  by  long  odds  the  best  man  for 
the  place.  Inasmuch  as  his  rank  was  not  that  of  a  field  officer,  he  was  not 
eligible  for  the  position.  This  is  one  out  of  many  cases  that  could  be  cited 
of  the  necessity  for  rank  for  the  chaplain  as  a  facility."  ""  Many  chap- 
lains agreed  that  increased  rank  helped  them  to  help  their  men;  it  facili- 
tated their  functioning  in  the  system  and  on  that  basis  increased  their 

See  footnotes  at  end   of  chapter. 

32  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Further  Relationships  of  Church  and  Chaplaincy 

The  chaplaincy  organized  with  a  Chief  of  Chaplains,  regulations  de- 
fined their  duties,  a  school  started,  manuals  and  correspondence  courses 
guided  them  in  continuing  training,  their  status  as  officers  was  established, 
selection  procedures  tightened,  reserves  organized,  promotion  and  rank, 
pay  and  allowances  stabilized  along  career  lines,  the  beginnings  of  a 
branch  awareness — if  not  the  status  of  a  corps— had  been  achieved.  All  of 
this  increased  the  professional  stature  and  competence  of  the  chaplaincy 
and  helped  determine  how  it  was  perceived  in  the  military. 

The  increased  professionalism  and  status  achieved  by  the  chaplaincy 
was  not  a  completely  in-house  matter.  The  churches  wielded  political 
power  by  their  interest,  support  and  recommendations  that  purported  to 
represent  the  will  of  adherents  by  the  thousands,  or  even  millions;  their 
actions  had  the  effect  of  raising  the  standards  of  the  chaplaincy  and  in- 
creasing its  effectiveness  in  ministering  to  the  Army  community. 

The  Conference  on  Moral  and  Religious  Work  in  the  Army  in  1924 
was  an  example  of  church  support.  Part  of  their  report  stressed: 

The  purposes  of  our  government  in  appointing  chaplains  and  the 
place  of  religion  in  the  Army  has  been  misunderstood,  because  frequently 
a  chaplain  has  been  used  simply  to  promote  what  is  known  as  morale. 
The  chaplain  does  promote  true  morale  in  the  best  possible  way — by  reli- 
gious sanction.  .  .  .  When  he  is  asked  to  promote  morale  first  and  reli- 
gion afterwards,  he  is  asked  to  be  false  to  his  mission. ^°^ 

Jorgensen  stated,  "This  report  had  far  reaching  effect  in  defining 
the  status  of  the  chaplain  and  the  position  of  morale  officer  was  soon 
abolished."  "* 

Chaplains  sent  reports  to  denominations  on  their  activities.  The  de- 
nominations in  turn  drew  closer  to  their  clergy  in  uniform  through  re- 
treats, conferences,  and  professional  journals.  The  Army  Chaplains  As- 
sociation was  founded  on  25  April  1925,  to  strengthen  faith,  morality, 
and  understanding  within  the  Army,  to  uphold  the  Constitution,  and  to 
promote  justice,  peace,  and  goodwill.  It  was  composed  of  present  and 
former  chaplains  of  all  components  on  a  voluntary  basis.  The  Chief  of 
Chaplains  said,  ".  .  .  in  many  ways  this  group  has  exerted  intelligent  and 
wholesome  influence  to  improve  the  status  and  equipment  of  chaplains 
and  enhance  the  effectiveness  of  their  work."  ^°^  Positive  support  from  re- 
ligious bodies  in  favor  of  a  strong  chaplaincy  was  evidenced  in  the  sub- 
committee of  the  Senate  and  House  Committee  on  Military  Affairs.  Hear- 
ings on  Senate  Bill  2532  and  H.R.  7038,  "To  Increase  The  Number  of 
Chaplains  In  The  Army"  were  held  16  April  1924. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


General  Pershing  and  Bishop  Brent  were  apparently  responsible  for 
working  out  a  figure  of  one  chaplain  to  1,200  officers  and  men.  That  for- 
mula was  never  met  during  the  period  the  AEF  was  active,  but  it  was  the 
bench  mark  on  which  requisitions  for  chaplains  were  computed.  In  1924, 
with  1 25  chaplains  and  an  Army  strength  of  1 3  7,000,  the  request  was  made 
by  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  to  reduce  the  ratio  to  1  to  800."*^ 

The  rationale  behind  this  request  was  postwar  discontinuance  of 
the  activities  so  faithfully  carried  out  by  volunteer  patriotic  and  religious 
organizations  during  the  war  years.  These  tasks,  including  entertainment 
and  athletics,  became  chaplain  responsibilities  in  many  commands. 
Civilian  "Camp  pastors"  were  phased  out;  in  the  judgment  of  one  repre- 
sentative, Charles  S.  McFarland  of  the  Federal  Council  of  Churches' 
General  Committee  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains,  they  were  not  a  suc- 
cessful venture  even  as  a  stopgap  measure  under  wartime  emergency.^"' 
The  CMTC  program  with  its  opportunities  was  an  added  and  unantici- 
pated responsibility.  The  educational  role  of  the  chaplain  was  as  time 
consuming  as  individual  efforts,  abilities,  and  local  conditions  would  bear. 

Newly  organized  into  a  cohesive  branch  with  a  spokesman,  the  chap- 
laincy's timidity  in  its  own  behalf  seemed  to  be  overcome.  Chaplain  Ax- 
ton  went  to  the  hill  with  quite  a  shopping  list.  He  wanted  a  ratio  of  1  to 
800;  the  Chief  to  be  a  Brigadier  General  instead  of  a  Colonel;  reduction 
of  the  maximum  age  of  entry  on  active  duty  to  58 ;  creation  of  a  corps 
of  chaplain  assistants;  and  an  increase  by  25  in  the  number  of  chaplains 
on  active  duty.'°^  The  complete  transcript  of  the  Subcommittee  of  the 
Senate  and  House  Committees  on  Military  Affairs  1924  hearing  made  in- 
teresting reading,  and  revealed  a  great  deal  about  feelings  toward  the 
chaplaincy  among  church  leaders,  senators,  chaplains'  association  offi- 
cials, and  others.  There  was  also  revealed  a  tendency  to  wander  all  over 
the  parade  field  on  the  part  of  the  politicians,  who  were  so  uninformed  on 
what  they  were  being  asked  to  decide  that  their  efforts  to  ask  penetrating 
questions  revealed  their  ignorance.^°^  General  Eisenhower  once  com- 
mented, "The  War  Department  moves  in  a  mysterious  way  its  blunders 
to  perform."  "^  The  same  could  be  said  of  the  1924  subcommittee 

One  congressman  contended  that  chaplains  would  have  greater  in- 
fluence without  commissions.  A  Mr.  Hull  responded  that  there  is  a  Chap- 
lain Corps  for  the  same  reason  there  is  a  Quartermaster  Corps.  He  asked 
why  not  have  a  businessmen's  organization,  and  let  them  wear  business 
suits  instead  of  uniforms  with  no  rank.^"  Mr.  McKenzie  could  not  see  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

34  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

need  for  more  chaplains  and  said,  "I  live  in  a  little  town  and  I  know  some- 
thing about  the  churches,  and  I  know  that  the  majority  of  young  men 
either  go  fishing  on  Sunday  or  ride  around  in  an  automobile  or  take  life 
easy  out  in  the  sunshine  rather  than  go  to  church.  .  ,  ."'  ^^~  He  was  con- 
cerned about  the  type  of  chaplains  being  commissioned.  He  heard  about 
clergymen  whose  preachments  became  so  anti-war  that  they  advocated  re- 
moving mention  of  it  from  history  books  and  getting  rid  of  all  public 
statues  and  markers  that  glorified  war  heroes  in  the  public  mind.  "You 
aren't  commissioning  men  who  want  to  tear  down  the  Washington  mon- 
ument or  Sherman's  statue,  are  you?"  he  demanded.  He  also  tried  to  in- 
troduce "evolution"  as  a  test  question  for  commissioning  chaplains,  and 
quoted  William  Jennings  Bryan's  words  against  the  views  "of  that  other 
fellow,"  presumably  either  Clarence  Darrow  or  the  defendant  Scopes,  in 
the  famous  Tennessee  trial. 

More  to  the  point  of  the  hearings,  Charles  S.  McFarland,  of  the 
Federal  Council  of  Churches,  testified  that  the  President,  the  War  De- 
partment, and  the  churches  were  in  favor  of  the  bill,  and  introduced  a 
letter  from  President  Coolidge.  He  also  argued  that  denominations  sensed 
discrimination  against  the  chaplaincy  in  the  fact  that  it  was  the  only 
branch  without  a  general  as  chief;  that  promotion  of  chaplains  was  slower 
than  that  of  dentists  and  doctors;  and  conveyed  to  the  military  and  ci- 
vilians alike  that  religion  in  the  Army  occupied  a  low^  position. 

Chaplain  Axton  testified  on  behalf  of  the  1,100  chaplains  in  the  Reg- 
ular Army,  National  Guard,  and  Officers'  Reserve  Corps  that  the  recom- 
mended changes  would  give  their  morale  a  real  boost.  He  pointed  out 
that  if  the  nation  wanted  high  caliber  men  it  ought  not  to  "put  them  where 
they  can't  advance  with  their  contemporaries."  "^  By  today's  standards 
advancement  was  unbelievably  slow :  less  than  five  years  in  service  first 
lieutenant;  five  to  fourteen  years,  captain;  fourteen  to  twenty  years, 
major;  over  twenty  years,  lieutenant  colonel;  one  chaplain  could  serve  as 
colonel  for  four  years  while  Chief  of  Chaplains."^^* 

The  proposed  bill  stated:  "It  is  considered  that  to  limit  the  rank  of 
the  chief  of  this  branch  to  colonel,  while  all  other  chiefs  of  branches  are 
major  generals,  is  not  in  accordance  with  the  place  of  religion  in  the  Army 
nor  with  the  value  and  importance  of  the  moral  and  religious  influences 
of  the  ministry  in  the  Army,  and  in  civil  life."  ^^^  It  further  pointed  out 
that  the  Navy  had  fifteen  chaplains  equivalent  in  rank  to  Army  colonels. 

The  bill  did  not  survive  the  labyrinthine  process  of  becoming  law.  It 
would  have  been  expensive.  It  would  have  taken  spaces  away  from  line 
officers,  and  the  War  Department  representative  in  attendance  spoke 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


against  a  chaplain  being  made  a  general  on  the  grounds  that  he  had  never 
held  command.  Most  of  the  provisions  dropped  out  of  sight  in  the  full 
committee  meetings  as  all  of  the  other  branches'  requests  were  considered. 
The  Act  passed  in  1926  gave  chaplains  equal  pay  and  promotion  oppor- 
tunities through  the  grade  of  Colonel. 

Citizens  Military  Training  Camps 

Considering  the  pacifist  and  anti-military  feeling  of  the  twenties,  and 
the  reluctance  to  spend  money  on  military  training,  one  of  the  phenomena 
that  didn't  seem  to  fit  at  first  glance  was  The  Citizens  Military  Training 
Camps.  An  unusually  warm  and  uncritical  reception  was  given  to  the 

The  CMTC  had  its  genesis  under  Major  General  Leonard  Wood, 
Chief  of  Staff,  in  1913  at  Gettysburg  and  Monterey.  They  were  fore- 
runners of  the  ROTC  program  and  endorsed  by  President  Wilson  for 
their  contribution  to  physical  health  and  character. ^^^  In  1920  the  Citizens 
Military  Training  Camps  were  authorized  by  Congress  and  opened  in 
1921.  Popular  approval  saw  them  grow  from  20,000  men  in  1922  to 
35,000  in  1925."'  Camps  were  open  to  young  men  aged  17-24  in  a  four 
year  sequence,  entitled,  Basic,  Red,  White,  and  Blue.  They  attended  four 
weeks  each  summer,  and  upon  completion  of  four  summer's  training  were 
eligible  to  take  an  examination  which  led  to  a  Reserve  commission.  Morn- 
ings were  spent  in  drill,  afternoons  in  physical  training,  athletics,  sys- 
tematic instruction  by  lecture,  conference,  and  discussion  in  the  principles 
of  good  citizenship.  Evenings  were  devoted  to  recreation,  movies,  concerts, 
amateur  dramatics,  dances,  and  indoor  games.  Physical  examinations 
uncovered  various  health  problems;  remedial  exercises  were  suggested 
along  with  minor  treatment  and  referrals  to  doctors  in  home  communities. 
The  men  were  to  spread  the  health  and  fitness  gospel  to  every  village  and 
town.  The  program  lasted  fifteen  years,  spread  to  51  Army  reservations 
and  trained  450,730  men.  As  usual,  funding  was  a  problem.  In  1931,  for 
example,  there  were  82,642  applicants  but  funds  to  take  only  37,500 

Since  General  Wood's  avowed  purpose  was  to  ".  .  .  awaken  a  slum- 
bering people  to  a  sense  of  present  unpreparedness  and  inability  to  meet  its 
soldier  responsibility  as  citizens  of  a  democracy  .  .  ."  '"  not  a  popular 
message— why  was  the  program  so  successful?  The  answer  lay  in  the 
oblique  benefits  that  accrued,  to  which  the  public  could  subscribe  whole- 
heartedly. Theodore  Roosevelt  said,  "The  tent  where  boys  sleep  side  by 
side  will  rank  next  to  the  public  school  among  the  great  agents  of  democ- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

36  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

racy."  '^°  The  romanticism  of  nature  and  the  presumed  character  building 
aspects  of  outdoor  Hfe,  combined  with  the  send-this-boy-to-camp  syn- 
drome were  guaranteed,  in  the  popular  mind,  to  produce  a  good  Ameri- 
can. One  government  pamphlet  characterized  the  program  as  "offering 
thirty  days  of  out-door  life  at  Government  expense."  "^ 

The  part  played  by  religion  was  not  ignored  in  this  training.  George 
F.  James,  author  of  numerous  books  on  the  CMTC  wrote,  "Religion  is  the 
foundation  of  civilization.  Services  for  men  of  every  faith  are  held  at 
appropriate  times  during  the  camp  period,  and  candidates  are  urged  to 
attend.  Spiritual  advice  is  never  lacking.  Chaplains  have  regular  hours  for 
individual  conference."  ^^^ 

The  chaplains  were  Regular  and  Reserve,  usually  with  the  Regular 
in  charge.  "Urged  to  attend"  was  interpreted  in  most  places  as  mandatory 

In  a  report  to  the  General  Committee  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains 
in  1927  one  official  stated :  "In  most  cases  the  Sunday  morning  worship  is 
now  required.  .  .  .  The  anticipated  protest  on  the  part  of  the  boys  have 
not  been  realized,  and  their  general  reaction  may  be  indicated  by  the 
following  testimony  from  one  of  them  who  wrote  up  their  experiences 
for  the  camp  magazine: 

Compulsory  church  attendance  was  an  order  which  seemed  to  many 
fellows  the  forerunner  of  an  unnecessary  ordeal.  They  received  a  surprise. 
The  chaplains  aroused  so  much  enthusiasm  that  the  services  proved  in- 
teresting to  all  and  the  sermons  held  everyone's  attention.  The  chaplains 
were  on  hand  at  all  times  and  were  always  ready  to  help  us.^'^ 

When  the  question  of  compulsory  church  was  raised  by  parents  and 
press.  Major  General  Charles  P.  Summerall,  the  commander  of  the 
CMTC,  expressed  no  doubt  about  what  should  be  done :  ".  .  .  the  boys 
coming  to  the  camps  are  sent  by  their  parents  and  not  by  their  ministers, 
and  if  the  parents  do  not  approve  the  young  men  can  stay  away."  ^^*  In  the 
same  speech  he  attacked  those  "renegades"  who  were  teaching  evolution, 
the  denial  of  the  divinity  of  Christ,  and  the  Immaculate  Conception.  The 
Citizen  published  by  C.M.T.C.  trainees  at  Fort  Washington,  Maryland, 
said :  "These  religious  services  are  just  as  much  a  part  of  camp  curriculum 
as  the  military  instruction  and  serve  well  the  purpose  for  which  they  were 
designed."  ^^^  As  the  dust  settled,  Summerall  announced  that  each  recruit 
would  attend  the  service  of  his  choice,  regardless  of  age,  "unless  he  can 
present  a  written  request  from  his  parent  or  guardian  that  he  be 
excused." ''' 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Charles  S.  McFarland,  Secretary  of  the  General  Committee  on  Army 
and  Navy  Chaplains,  reported  on  five  years  worth  of  visitations  to  the 
camps  by  saying : 

The  authorities  in  charge  show  increasing  recognition  of  the  neces- 
sity for  providing  the  thousands  of  boys  who  attend  these  camps  with 
the  best  possible  moral  and  religious  influences,  and  this  is  shared  increas- 
ingly by  the  administrative  officers  directly  in  charge  of  them.  ...  A 
general  and  progressive  improvement  is  noted  year  by  year.  The  general 
tone  and  atmosphere  of  the  camps  is  better.  .  .  .  This  is  especially  true 
of  the  distinctively  religious  work.  It  is,  for  the  most  part,  well  organized. 
The  chaplains  visualize  it  more  clearly.  The  provisions  for  it  are  more 
adequate  and  the  results  are  apparent,  although  it  must  be  said  that 
there  are  instances  where  some  commanding  officers  have  not  yet  caught 
the  spirit. ^'^ 

All  was  not  sweetness  and  light,  for  the  report  went  on  to  grouse  a  bit. 
"There  is  little  point  in  the  commanding  officer  telling  us  that  he  'heartily 
encourages  attendance  at  worship,'  while  he  himself,  during  the  hour  of 
worship,  sits  in  full  view  on  his  porch  surrounded  by  the  Sunday  papers. 
Indeed  about  the  only  suggestion  of  protest  on  the  part  of  the  boys  is  in 
the  form  of  a  question  as  to  why  their  officers  do  no  participate  in  this  as  in 
other  required  service."  ^^^ 

Other  points  of  friction,  perhaps  inevitable,  were  alluded  to.  "There 
is  still  considerable  room  for  improvement  in  some  instances  in  the  matter 
of  hearty  cooperation  between  the  recreation  officer,  and  the  chaplain. 
There  are  some  considerations  in  favor  of  making  the  Chaplain  the  Rec- 
reation Officer,  as  is  frequently  done  in  the  National  Guard."  One  chap- 
lain complained  that  excursions  were  often  scheduled  during  church,  and 
weekend  passes  were  too  freely  given.  "It  is  hardly  fair  to  the  average 
seventeen  year  old  boy  to  ask  him  whether  he  had  rather  go  off  in  a  boat 
or  to  church."  ''^ 

The  report  concluded  with  the  recommendation  that  chaplains  be 
assigned  to  ROTC  camps  as  well,  and  underscored  the  need  for  a  closer 
association  between  National  Guard  Chaplains  and  the  Chief's  office.  It 
also  commended  the  YMCA  for  their  continued  good  work  on  Army  posts. 

The  Chaplains  conducted  services  in  the  camps,  and  performed  edu- 
cational duties  in  the  area  of  citizenship.  Chaplain  Clifford  P.  Futcher 
gave  twelve  lectures  on  citizenship  in  a  course  later  developed  into  A 
Manual  for  Citizenship  Training  for  use  in  all  the  camps  in  1927.  The  fol- 
lowing year,  the  War  Department  published  a  manual  entitled  Citizen- 
ship which  superseded  the  one  by  Futcher  and  suggested  a  director  of 

See  footnotes  at  end   of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78 

38  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

training  be  appointed  for  each  CMTC  who  would  supervise  company 
officers  in  giving  lectures  on : 

1 .  The  American  Citizen 

2.  Inter-dependent  Relationships 

3.  Character,  The  Great  Asset  of  America 

4.  Great  Americans  and  Their  Achievements 

5.  Economic  Development  of  America 

6.  Individual  Initiative 

7.  Liberty  and  Independence 

8.  The  Purpose  of  Government 

9.  Representative  Government 

10.  Personal  Responsibility 

1 1 .  Self-Preservation 

12.  The  American  Flag"" 

Character  building  talks  were  considered  part  of  the  chaplains' 
responsibility  and  these  talks  and  similar  ones  by  other  chaplains  laid  the 
groundwork  for  the  later  Character  Guidance  and  Human  Self  Develop- 
ment programs. 

Another  duty  that  chaplains  performed  was  counseling.  If  a  young 
man  w^as  poorly  motivated,  homesick,  a  discipline  problem,  or  troubled 
by  family  difficulties  he  was  sent  by  his  commander  to  see  the  chaplain. 
The  chaplain  w  as  the  man  in  the  system  who  had  time  to  listen.  Many  men 
sought  out  the  chaplain  on  their  own  initiative  to  discuss  questions  of 
religion,  morality,  sex,  and  career  guidance.  These  wide  ranging  contacts 
with  men  of  widely  divergent  backgrounds  brought  chaplains  into  contact 
with  large  numbers  of  young  men  which  enabled  them  to  perform  a 
ministry  and  receive  invaluable  training  through  experience. 

Equipment  and  Assistants 

Some  men  were  able  to  get  by  with  a  blanket  and  a  Bible  for  equip- 
ment. Prior  to  1923  the  only  equipment  authorized  a  chaplain  was  a  blue 
flag  with  a  white  latin  cross  on  it.  This  was  used  to  mark  the  location  of 
the  chaplain's  tent,  and  the  place  where  divine  services  were  conducted. 
Most  services  were  held  out  of  doors.  Only  1 7  installations  had  permanent 
chapels.  This  was  in  marked  contrast  to  what  was  happening  throughout 
the  United  States — the  greatest  church  building  program  in  history."^ 

Chief  Axton  wrote  to  Chaplain  Maurice  W.  Reynolds  in  1921 : 

Our  chaplains  have  suffered  in  their  work  from  lack  of  facilities  and 
from  the  era  of  depression  that  followed  the  world  war  but  from  reports 
covering  the  entire  field  we  are  encouraged  to  believe  that  the  low  point 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


was  passed  long  ago  and  we  are  going  forward  steadily  to  larger  and 
better  things."' 

In  1925  he  offered  to  help  any  chaplain  who  planned  to  erect  a 
chapel.  But  in  the  main  his  statements  were  wishful  thinking  in  a  nation 
tired  of  war  and  determined  to  cut  military  expenditure  to  the  bone.  In 
his  seventh  year  as  Chief,  even  Axton  became  discouraged  and  wrote  to 
Chaplain  Charles  F.  Graeser: 

Of  course  we  wish  the  government  would  make  provisions  for 
chapels  at  all  permanent  posts  but  I  see  no  prospect  of  this  being  accom- 
plished any  time  soon  and  therefore  we  are  encouraging  the  communities 
near  our  posts  in  the  belief  that  they  have  a  definite  responsibility  to  aid  in 
providing  houses  of  worship  for  soldiers.^^^ 

Chaplain  Benjamin  J.  Tarskey  in  the  Canal  Zone,  received  permis- 
sion from  his  commander  to  raise  voluntary  funds  to  erect  a  chapel.  The 
various  fund  raising  features  met  with  a  generous  response.  But  his  request 
for  authorization  to  erect  a  chapel  met  with  flat  refusal  from  the  Secretary 
of  War  who  replied : 

The  War  Department  expects  Congress  to  provide  appropriations 
for  all  necessary  Army  construction,  and  it  is  not  considered  desirable  to 
accept  private  contributions  for  such  purposes.  Therefore,  the  request 
for  authority  to  erect  a  chapel  under  the  conditions  stated  in  basic  letter, 
is  not  favorably  considered. ^^^ 

Chaplain  C.  A.  Corcoran  turned  an  abandoned  building  into  a 
chapel  in  1921.  Tarskey  "converted"  an  old  mess  hall  in  August  of  that 
year.  Chaplain  John  N.  McCann  remodeled  a  temporary  building  into  a 
chapel  at  Kelly  Field  in  1928.  Other  chaplains  used  gynasiums,  theaters, 
and  the  open  air. 

Equipment  took  a  turn  for  the  better  \vhen  a  new  Table  of  Equip- 
ment in  1923  authorized  each  chaplain  "one  field  desk,  regimental,  con- 
taining a  portable  typewriter;  one  folding  organ;  300  song  books,  religious 
and  patriotic;  chests  as  containers  for  books."  "For  semipermanent  camps 
the  following  is  authorized  by  Table  V,  Circular  324,  War  Department, 
1921 :  One  assembly  tent;  4  tables,  folding;  32  benches,  folding  (or  chairs 
folding) .  Not  to  exceed  one  tent  with  tables  and  benches,  or  chairs,  will 
be  issued  to  each  organization  to  which  a  chaplain  is  assigned."  ""  The 
flag  continued  to  be  an  item  of  issue  and  was  described  as  of  blue  bunting, 
2  feet  hoist  by  3  feet  fly,  with  a  white  Latin  cross,  1  foot  6  inches  in  height, 
with  arms  3  inches  in  width,  in  the  center.  "This  flag  \vill  be  used  for  field 
service  only,  and  silently  proclaims  the  progress  of  a  divine  service  or  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

40  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

presence  and  location  of  the  chaplain,  who  usually  occupies  a  tent  not  far 
from  the  headquarters  of  the  unit  with  which  he  is  serving."  "° 

There  was  no  description  of  a  Jewish  Chaplain's  Flag  because  there 
was  no  Jewish  Chaplain  on  active  duty  between  the  close  of  World  War 
I  and  the  build  up  of  forces  in  1940.  The  religious  population  of  the 
Army  in  this  period  contained  so  few  Jewish  personnel  that  no  rabbi  was 
interested  in  the  chaplaincy,  although  Jewish  chaplains  were  authorized 
and  had  been  since  the  Civil  War.  The  history  of  Judaism  in  Europe  was 
such  that  they  perceived  soldiers  as  instruments  of  the  enemy.  A  military 
career  was  not  an  option  chosen  by  many  Jews.  Families  encouraged  sons 
to  enter  nearly  any  other  line  of  work. 

Religious  tracts  were  very  popular  items  during  the  war  and  immedi- 
ately after,  and  were  provided  by  the  churches  under  varying  arrange- 
ments. Motion  picture  projectors,  record  players,  slide  projectors, 
stationery  (for  writing  the  folks  back  home),  and  books  and  magazines 
were  frequently  found  in  the  chaplain's  tent.  There  was  great  variety  in 
how  they  were  obtained  and  maintained.  Sometimes  unit  funds  and 
property  were  used,  or  organizations  like  the  Red  Cross,  YMCA,  and 
local  churches  provided  equipment  or  funds.  At  other  times  the  chaplains 
reached  into  their  own  pockets  to  provide  for  the  men. 

Army  Regulations  No.  60-5  directed  the  "detail  of  such  needed 
assistants  to  chaplains  as  may  be  deemed  desirable  and  practicable." 
Translated  into  popular  usage  this  gave  the  chaplain  a  "hunting  license" 
to  select  a  man  best  qualified  for  the  position;  he  then  conferred  with 
the  man's  immediate  commander  as  to  availability  for  the  position,  after 
which  the  paper  work  was  submitted.  The  manual  gravely  pointed  out 
how  serious  the  matter  of  selection  was.  It  left  the  chaplain  to  his  own 
devices  as  to  how  to  pry  a  good  man  loose  from  an  unsympathetic 

Memorials  of  World  War  I 

The  chaplaincy  of  the  1 920s  was  directly  influenced  by  lessons  learned 
in  "The  Great  War."  The  events  of  the  decade  were  acted  out  within  the 
shadow  of  that  event.  Several  specific  events  memorialized  the  sacrifices 
of  World  War  I  chaplains.  The  Federal  Council  of  Churches  issued  a 
Chaplain's  Medal  as  an  "expression  of  appreciation  by  the  churches"  to 
the  1,600  Protestant  chaplains  who  served  in  the  Army  and  Navy  during 
the  war.  The  same  medal  also  went  to  President  Wilson,  Secretary  Baker 
and  Secretary  Daniels."' 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Secretary  Weeks  sent  four  chaplains  to  France  in  1922,  to  the  Ceme- 
terial  Section  of  the  Quartermaster  Corps,  for  duty  in  the  American 
National  Cemeteries  in  France.  Their  main  responsibility  was  to  hold 
appropriate  religious  services  at  the  reinterment  of  those  who  were  moved 
to  American  cemeteries,  and  to  minister  to  "the  hundreds  of  Americans 
who  are  visiting  the  last  resting  places  of  their  departed  ones."  "^ 

Father  John  J.  Sullivan,  chaplain  for  the  Aviation  Corps  in  France 
during  the  war,  and  known  as  "the  original  flying  parson,"  flew  around 
the  country  visiting  the  parents  of  aviators  for  whom  he  performed  the 
burial  service  in  France.  This  unique  mission  was  permitted  by  a  special 
order  from  Major  General  Mason  M.  Patrick,  head  of  the  Army  Air 

The  Chaplains'  Cenotaph,  a  memorial  tablet  of  bronze,  containing 
the  names  of  23  chaplains  killed  in  World  War  I,  embedded  in  a  large 
stone  shaft,  was  unveiled  on  5  May  1926  at  Arlington  National  Ceme- 
tery. Paid  for  by  voluntary  funds  raised  within  the  ranks  of  the  chaplaincy, 
the  cenotaph  was  unveiled  with  proper  ceremony  presided  over  by  chap- 
lains John  N.  McCormick,  Jason  N.  Pierce,  Morris  S.  Lazaron,  and 
Francis  P.  Duffy.""  (Father  Duffy  became  the  most  famous  of  World 
War  I  Chaplains,  and  a  statue  in  his  memor\'  was  erected  at  Duffy  Square 
in  mid-town  Manhattan. ) 

A  Chaplain  Is  Pardoned 

The  Prophet  Nathan  confronted  King  David  with  his  sin.  The 
question  was  often  asked  whether  chaplains  confront  the  system,  or  were 
so  concerned  with  favorable  efficiency  reports  that  they  knuckled  under 
pressures  to  conform.  Most  chaplains  who  felt  they  could  not  validly 
minister  quietly  resigned.  Chaplain  C.A.  Corcoran  in  1922  apphed  for 
separation  because  he  had  "become  more  or  less  ennuied  with  the  mili- 
tary life."  Axton  in  indorsing  the  request  wrote,  "If  he  has  become  en- 
nuied with  military  life,  he  may  well  be  spared."  "^ 

A  more  spectacular  confrontation  came  in  the  person  of  Franz  J. 
Feinler.  Chaplain  Feinler  was  convicted  on  1 8  specifications  of  treason- 
able behavior  during  World  War  I.  Feinler  was  born  in  Germany  and 
entered  the  Army  as  a  chaplain  in  1909.  He  was  sent  to  France,  but  "on 
account  of  statements  attributed  to  him  showing  German  sympathies"  "^ 
was  returned  to  the  US.  Intentions  to  courtmartial  him  were  dropped 
and  he  was  sent  to  Hawaii.  There  he  was  accused  "of  having  uttered 
treasonable  language  and  with  having  endeavored  to  dissuade  men  in  the 
army  from  taking  part  in  the  \var  against  Germany."  He  was  tried, 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  -chapter. 

42  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

convicted,  and  sentenced  to  15  years  at  hard  labor.  He  was  paroled 
after  three  years  confinement,  and  one  year  later  President  Harding  par- 
doned him  and  restored  his  citizenship.''' 


The  Army  in  this  period  simply  mirrored  current  public  attitudes  on 
the  subject  of  minorities.  The  consciousness  of  ethnic  rights  had  few 
champions  even  among  the  minorities  themselves.  Reasonable  research 
uncovered  no  evidence  that  chaplains  of  this  period  spoke  a  prophetic 
word  to  the  system.  Their  sermons  and  printed  articles  contained  colored 
dialect  stories  that  demeaned  them  as  well  as  their  listeners."* 

The  pattern  established  in  previous  wars  reasserted  itself,  namely, 
when  manpower  needs  were  critical  the  minority  soldier  was  acceptable; 
the  danger  past,  he  was  unacceptable  and  culled  out.  In  World  War  I 
there  were  400,000  blacks  in  the  Army,  1,300  of  them  officers.  Two 
decades  later,  on  the  eve  of  the  Pearl  Harbor  attack,  there  were  five 
black  officers  in  the  entire  active  Army.  Three  of  them  were  chaplains. 
Eli  Ginzberg  stated  3,600  Regular  Army  enlisted  men  were  black,  repre- 
senting two  per  cent  of  the  total;  '''  Charles  C.  Moskos  states  that  5.9 
per  cent  of  the  total  Army  was  black.""  While  the  authors  do  not  agree 
on  the  exact  percentage  they  are  in  agreement  that  the  number  did  not 
reflect  the  national  population  picture  or  the  Negro  potential  for  service. 
Between  1920-1940  one  black,  Benjamin  O.  Davis,  Jr.,  graduated  from 
West  Point. 

Black  American  troops  were  rushed  home  from  France.  When  French 
Marshal  Foch  questioned  the  policy.  Major  General  Bullard  sent  word 
to  Foch  that  he  could  not  be  responsible  for  what  the  Negroes  might  do 
to  French  women  if  allowed  to  remain.'"  Upon  coming  home  black 
soldiers  were  ordered  off  trains  and  busses,  forced  to  strip  off  their  uni- 
forms and  medals.  Seventy  blacks  were  lynched  in  the  first  year  after 
the  war,  including  ten  soldiers,  some  still  in  uniform.  Fourteen  blacks 
were  burned  publicly."^  Until  the  National  Guard  was  organized.  Regu- 
lar units  were  called  out  for  race  riots  in  many  cities.  A  War  Department 
letter  of  12  July  1923,  provided  for  use  of  Negroes  in  an  emergency  on  a 
limited  scale.  It  specified  "No  Negro  troops  are  to  be  mobilized  in  the 
States  of  Texas."  "'  The  thought  about  blacks  for  the  next  two  decades 
was:  1.  They  were  inferior.  2.  They  failed  in  combat  in  World  War  I. 
3.  There  would  be  serious  problems  of  discipline  and  public  relations  be- 
cause of  friction  between  blacks  and  whites  if  units  were  integrated/^" 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


There  was  concern  among  the  chaplains  to  learn  Spanish.  Whether 
this  was  due  to  border  duty  along  the  Mexican  boundary,  or  the  Spanish 
still  prevalent  in  the  Philippines,  or  to  minister  to  minorities,  was  not 
determined.  At  the  Chaplains'  School  in  1922  eleven  Regular  chaplains 
studied  Spanish  in  a  class  taught  by  another  student.^''  Perhaps  it  marked 
a  concern  to  reach  out  to  those  of  a  different  background. 

There  was  concern  by  chaplains  for  individual  soldiers,  and  they  were 
viewed  as  proper  subjects  of  their  efforts  at  evangelism.  There  was  social 
concern  for  families.  One  chaplain  devised  a  plan  to  pay  the  wives  of 
irresponsible  servicemen  two  thirds  of  the  soldier's  salary.  It  was  rejected. 
Another  chaplain  tried  to  protect  his  men  from  "moon  shiners";  and  in 
another  case,  from  local  law^  enforcement  officials  who  discriminated 
against  soldiers. ^^^  As  an  institution  the  chaplaincy  failed  to  stand  back 
and  view  the  Army  as  a  system  that  needed  ministry  and  institutional 
evangelism.  Perhaps  it  was  too  newly  organized  to  think  in  terms  of  col- 
lective "clout."  Traditionalists  in  other  branches  failed  to  gasp  the  sig- 
nificance of  the  airplane  and  tank.  The  social  gospel  in  civilian  churches 
was  viewed  with  suspicion  in  this  period,  and  in  the  Army  as  well.  The 
feeling  was  that  clergy  should  stick  "to  their  preaching."  Whatever  the 
reasons,  and  however  widespread  the  failure  to  grasp  the  problems  of 
minorities  and  minister  to  the  institution,  the  chaplaincy  did  not  seize 
the  opportunity. 


The  1920's  saw  the  Army  Chaplaincy  get  organized  with  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  and  other  supervisory 
chaplains  at  the  various  levels  of  command,  that  exerted  professional 
leadership  over  those  in  their  own  profession.  This  w  as  in  sharp  contrast 
to  the  regimental  parochialism  that  hampered  individual  chaplains  from 
gaining  perspective  on  the  problems  of  ministering  in  and  to  the  peculiar 
institution  of  the  US  Army.  Regulations,  circulars,  and  training  manuals 
defined  the  duties  of  chaplains  as  clergymen  rather  than  handymen. 
Promotion  policies  were  brought  into  line  with  other  branches  and  the 
status  of  chaplains  was  placed  on  a  firm  footing.  The  selection  process 
by  the  denominations  was  tightened  and  the  churches,  through  various 
board  and  agencies,  grew  closer  to  their  previously  orphaned  chaplains 
and  found  ways  to  support  and  encourage  them  both  individually  and 
collectively.  Some  of  that  support  found  its  way  into  legislation. 

The  Chaplain  School  was  founded;  though  it  did  not  last,  it  marked 
a  concern  for  training  that  would  see  the  school  revived  and  become  an 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

44  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

important  part  of  professional  development.  Equipment  and  assistants 
were  furnished  to  chaplains  to  do  their  job,  but  still  had  a  long  way  to 
go  before  either  could  be  termed  adequate.  The  shortage  of  chapel 
facilities  hurt  the  chaplains'  program.  The  Reserve  program  was  or- 
ganized and  continued  to  have  an  impact  on  the  chaplaincy  through 
conferences,  reports,  professional  journals,  extension  courses,  and 
summer  training.  Much  had  been  accomplished,  but  many  of  the  de- 
velopments were  embryonic  beginnings;  some  would  grow,  some  would 
suffer  reverses,  and  others  would  disappear  altogether. 

The  report  of  the  General  Commission  for  1927  evaluated  the 
changes  seen.  "When  one  compares  the  present  status  of  the  army  chap- 
laincy with  the  old  days,  there  is  ample  ground  for  gratification  and 
encouragement.  This  is  due,  of  course,  to  many  causes,  among  them 
the  exigencies  created  by  the  war."  '^^  The  report  stated  that  there  was 
much  yet  to  be  done,  but  "the  chaplains  are  of  a  higher  efficiency,  have 
better  equipment,  have  higher  recognition  in  the  service,  better  support 
from  the  church  bodies,  and  are  rendering  finer  service  than  was  possible, 
even  to  the  noblest  of  the  former  chaplains,  many  of  whom  became  really 
great  chaplains,  despite  the  limitations  imposed  upon  them."  This  ad- 
vance was  seen  in  many  posts  in  the  gradual  establishment  of  an  office 
for  the  chaplain,  in  the  building  of  chapels,  and  in  the  provision  of  the 
War  Department  for  "the  ultimate  building  of  a  chapel  on  every  post," 
according  to  the  report. 

Church  attendance  varied  and  in  some  cases  was  almost  negligible. 
The  chaplain,  like  many  a  pastor  in  civil  life,  rendered  his  service  in  large 
measure  by  other  ways  than  pulpit  exhortation. 

The  report  closed  with  two  recommendations:  "Ministers  should 
take  a  much  more  decided  interest  in  the  Army  Posts  near  them.  The 
chaplain  sometimes  feels  estranged  from  his  own  brother  ministers." 
While  McFarland,  the  Chairman  of  the  Committee,  found  the  chaplains' 
problems  much  the  same  as  his  brother  ministers,  the  assumption  that 
the  chaplains'  duties  could  be  just  as  well  performed  by  an  outside 
civilian  priest  or  minister  was  not  a  correct  one.  "Army  life  is  necessarily 
different  from  ordinary  civilian  routine  and  the  chaplain  had  to  know 
and  share  that  life,  including  its  privations,  to  be  accepted.''* 
Jorgensen  wrote: 

"The  work  of  chaplains  between  the  wars,  their  personal  dedi- 
cation to  God  and  country  which  led  them  to  render  significant 
service  in  spite  of  meager  physical  resources — changed  the  attitude 
of  the  Army  toward  the  chaplain  and  his  duties."  '°^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 



'  Syndey  E.  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  the  American  People,  (New  Haven:  Yale 
University  Press,  1972),  p.  895. 

'Ibid.  p.  895-6. 

'  Lucien  Price,  "Between  Two  Wars",  Religion  of  Soldier  and  Sailor,  edited  by  Willard  L. 
Sparry,  Volume  II,  (Cambridge:  Harvard  University  Press,  1945).  p.  29. 

'  Ibid.  p.  26-31. 

"Maurice  Matloff,  Army  Historical  Series,  American  Military  History,  Reprinted  and 
Partially  Revised  1973,  (Washington,  D.C.,  Office  of  The  Chief  of  Military  History),  p.  405. 

"Ibid.  p.  405. 

'Ibid.  p.  407-8. 

^  Ibid.  p.  406-7  and  Daniel  B.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units 
1917-1946,  (Washington,  D.C. :  Office  Chief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains,  1961),  p.  50. 

"  Matloff,  American  Military  History,  p.  407. 

"  Ibid.  p.  407-8. 

"  Ibid.  p.  408. 

''Ibid.  p.  409-410. 

"  Paul  D.  Moody,  'The  Precedent  of  the  First  World  War,"  Religion  of  Soldier  and  Sailor, 
edited  by  Willard  L.  Sperry,  p.  17. 

"  Roy  J.  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  (Washington,  D.C:  Office  of  the 
Chief  of  Chaplains,  Department  of  the  Army,  1958),  p.  199. 

^'^Ibid.  p.  199. 

"  Moody,  Religion  of  Soldier  and  Sailor,  p.  12. 

"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  200. 

"  Moody,  Religion  of  Soldier  and  Sailor,  p.  12,  18-21. 

"Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  42. 

="  Ibid.  p.  43. 

''  Ibid.  p.  43. 

^"  Moody,  Religion  of  Soldier  and  Sailor,  p.  17. 

■^  Hearing  by  the  Subcommittee  on  Senate  and  House  Committees  on  Military  Affairs, 
16  April  1924,  Washington,  D.C,  p.  12. 

"^  John  J.  Pershing,  letter  to  Adjutant  General,  Washington,  D.C,  23  October  1918,  Box  IV, 
Bishop  Brent  Collection,  Manuscript  Division,  Library  of  Congress,  Washington,  D.C. 

""  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army.  p.  199. 

'' Ibid.  p.  2Q\. 

'"Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units,  1917-1946,  p.  48. 

"■^Ibid.  p.  48. 

"'Roy  J.  Honeywell,  "John  Axton,  First  Chief  of  Chaplains,"  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain, 
July-August  1944,  Vol.  XIV,  No.  1.,  p.  15,  and  Earl  F.  Stover,  John  T.  Axton  file.  Historical 
Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York,  and  David  Carey  Shanks,  They  Passed 
Through  The  Port,  (Washington,  D.C:   The  Cary  Publishing  Co.  1927),  p.  84-89,  92. 

^  "Col.  John  Thomas  Axton,  Former  Chief  of  Chaplains,"  The  Army  Chaplain,  October- 
November,  1934,  Vol.  IV,  No.  2.  p.  5. 

^^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  200. 

''The  Chaplain's  School  Class  Bulletin,   (Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas,   1926),  p.  5  and  14. 

^^  Charles  S.  McFarland,  Report  of  the  General  Commission  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains 
of  the  Federal  Council  of  Churches  of  Christ  in  America,  (New  York:  Federal  Council  of 
Churches, -192 7),  p.  11. 

^'  Matthew  20:27,  Holy  Bible,  King  James  Version. 

^  Col.  John  Thomas  Axton,  Former  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  October- 
November,  1934,  Vol.  IV,  No.  2.  p.  5. 

^'' Roy  J.  Honeywell,  The  Second  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  April- 
May  1945,  Vol  XV,' No.  4,  p.  13. 

''  Ibid.,  and  Earl  F.  Stover,  file  on  Edmund  P.  Easterbrook,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS, 
Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

46  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

"Colonel  Edmund,  P.  Easterbrook,  The  Army  Chaplain,  April  1933,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  4,  p.  2, 
Honeywell,  The  Army  arid  Navy  Chaplain,  and  Stover,  Edmund  P.  Easterbrook. 

''Easterbrook  Memorial  Windows  Unveiled,  The  Army  Chaplain,  October  1934  Vol  IV 
No.  2.,  p.  4. 

"Made  Chief  Army  Chaplain,  The  New  York  Times,  15  December,  II,  6:2,  Chief  of 
Chaplains  Julian  E.  Yates,  The  Army  Chaplain,  October  1930,  Vol.  I,  No.  2,  p.  3.,  A  Message 
From  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  April  1934,  Vol.  V,  No.  4,  p.  5,  The  Retiring 
Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  April  1934,  Vol.  V,  No.  4,  p.  7. 

"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  The  United  States  Army,  p.  201-202. 

'-  Ibid. 

"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  50 

"  Ibid.  p.  50. 

''Ibid.  p.  52. 

*"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  202. 

"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  52. 

*^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  204. 

"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units,  1917-1946,  p.  52. 

""  Dwight  David  Eisenhower,  At  Ease,  Reader's  Digest  Condensed  Book,  Volume  III,  (Pleas- 
antville.  New  York :  The  Reader's  Digest  Assn.  1967),  p.  147-148. 

"*  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  206-7.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of 
Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units,  p.  52.  This  course  is  discussed  under  the  title  "Other  Training"  in 
a  later  part  of  this  chapter.  Further  training  for  Reserve  Chaplains  came  with  the  development 
of  the  Civilian  Conservation  Corps  and  is  presented  under  that  title  in  the  next  chapter. 

""Training  Manual,  The  Chaplain,  His  Place  and  Duties,  (Washington  D.C. :  Government 
Printing  Office,  1926),  p.  6. 

^'  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  The  United  States  Army,  p.  215- 

"*  George  B.  Ford,  interview,  10  Feb.  1976,  New  York  City. 

^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  204. 

""Ibid.,  p.  204. 

"Ford,  interview,  and  Bulletin;  Commencement  number.  Chaplain's  Service  School,  13  De- 
cember, 1921,  Camp  Knox,  Ky.,  Vol.  1,  No.  3,  p.  4. 

"''  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  204. 

"■'Ibid.,  204. 

""Ibid.  205. 

*^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units,  p.  56. 

'^"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  209. 

''Ibid.  207. 

"Stover,  Up  From  Handymen,  The  U.S.  Army  Chaplaincy,  1865-1920,  (Washington: 
Office  of  The  Chief  of  Chaplains,  1973 ) . 

^^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Visits  1917-1946,  p.  63. 

•"=  Ibid.  p.  54. 

""  Ibid.  p.  64. 

"'  Ibid.  p.  63. 

^'Ibid.  p.  64-65. 

'"Ibid.  p.  55. 

"  Ibid.  p.  57. 
'"-Ibid.  p.  65. 

''  Ibid.  p.  66. 

^'  Ibid.  p.  67. 
■^  Ibid.  p.  64. 
•"  Ibid.  p.  68. 
'•  Ibid.  p.  76. 

"^  Training  Manual,  The  Chaplain  His  Place  and  Duties,  p.  26. 
"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  197. 
**"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  67. 
"^  Files  of  Chief  of  Chaplains  Office,  RG  96,  Office  of  the  Adjutant  General,  Central  Files, 
1926-1939,  p.  50,  The  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

"^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  67. 


^'The  Sentinel,  Newspaper  of  The  15th  Infantry  Regiment,  18  Mar  1921  Tientsen,  China, 
Vol  III,  No.;  and  8  April  1921,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  14,  p.  3. 

''Ibid.,  7  January  1921,  Vol  III,  No.  1,  p.  3,  4  March  1921,  Vol  III,  No.  9,  p.  7,  and  18 
March  1921,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  11,  p.  12,  25  March  1921,  Vol  III,  No.  12,  p.  4.  April  1921,  Vol  III, 
No.  13,  p.  2,  9  December  1921,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  49,  p.  5,  and  10  June  1921,  Vol  III,  No.  23,  p.  4. 
''Ibid.,  15  July  1921,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  28,  p.  7,  and  10  June  1921,  Vol.  Ill,  No  23,  p.  4. 
^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  58. 
"  Edward  A.  Simon,  The  Influence  of  The  American  Protestant  Churches  on  the  Develop- 
ment  of   the   Structure   and   Duties   of  The   Army   Chaplaincy,    1914-1962,   Thesis,   Princeton 
Theological  Seminary,  Princeton,  New  Jersey,  1963,  p.  53. 
■^^  Ibid.,  p.  5. 
"'  Ibid.,  p.  60. 

*"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  59. 
"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  178-9. 
""  Ford,  interview. 

^  Letter,  undated.  Box  4,  Bishop  Brent  Collection,  Rare  Manuscripts  Division,  The  Library 
of  Congress,  Washington,  D.C. 

"*  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  179. 

°''  Letter  from  Chief  of  Chaplains  to  the  Board  to  Consider  Rank  or  Chaplains,  1926,  RG  94, 
Office  of  the  Adjutant  General,  Central  Files,  1926-39. 

^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  57. 
"^Insignia  of  Rank  for  Chaplains,  OCCH  421.7,  9  February,   1926,  RG  94,  Office  of  The 
Adjutant  General,  Central  Files  1926-39,  The  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

"'  Report  of  the  Board  to  Consider  Rank  for  Chaplains,  1926,  RG  94,  Office  of  The  Adjutant 
General,  Central  Files,  1926-39,  p.  1-3. 

"^War  Department,  Circular  No.   19,   19  March,   1926,  RG  407  Records  of  the  Adjutant 
General's  Office.  1917. 

^•^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  57. 
'"'Letter  from  General  John  J.  Pershing  to  Adjutant  General,  23  October  1918,  RG  407, 
Records  of  The  Adjutant  General's  Office,  1917-  .  The  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

"'-Chief  of  Chaplains  Service  of  the  AEF,  1918-19,  Final  Report  to  the  Adjutant  General, 
26  April  1919,  Box  3  Bishop  Brent  Collection. 

""  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  76. 
'°*  Ibid.  p.  76. 

'^°  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  212-213. 

"^  Subcommittee  of   the   Senate  and   House  Committees  on  Military  Affairs,  Hearing,  on 
S.  2532  and  H.R.  7038,  (Washington  1924). 
"'  Ibid. 
"'  Ibid. 
""  Ibid. 

""  Dwight  David  Eisenhower,  At  Ease,  p.  141. 

'''  Subcommittee  Hearing  of  Senate  and  House  Committees  on  MiHtary  Affairs,  16  April  1924. 
""  Ibid.,  p.  8. 
'"  Ibid. 
"*  Ibid. 
"^'^  Ibid. 

'"George  F.  James,  The  Story  of  the  Camps  (Chicago:  Military  Training  Camps  Associa- 
tion of  the  United  States  1926) ,  p.  5-6. 
"■  Ibid.,  p.  6. 

"^George  F.  James,  Fifteen  Years  of  CMTC  (Chicago:   Military  Training  Camps  Associa- 
tion of  the  United  States  1935 ) ,  p.  7. 
'''Ibid.,  p.  7. 

'^  James,  The  Story  of  the  Camps,  flyleaf. 

'-^George  F.  James,  Eleven  Years  of  CMTC  (Chicago:  Military  Training  Camps  Associa- 
tion of  the  United  States,  1931),  p.  5. 

^'  James,  The  Story  of  the  Camps,  p.  9. 

"^  McFarland,  Report  to  the  General  Committee,  p.  4. 

"'Defends  Religion  in  Training  Camps,  The  New  York  Times,  1  July  1925,  p.  3-5. 

48  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

'=' Chaplain's  Work  in  C.M.T.  Camp,  The  Army  Chaplain,  January  1931,  Vol  II,  No.  3, 
p.  13. 

^^  Training  Camp  Soldiers  Must  Go  to  Church,  Chaplains  Seek  to  Keep  Men  From  Swearing, 
New  York  Times,  29  April  1925,  p.  1 :2. 

^"'  McFarland,  Report  to  the  General  Committee,  p.  3. 

'"-'Ibid.,  p.  5. 

''"Ibid.,  p.  5. 

""  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  67. 

"^  Ibid.  p.  72. 

'''Ibid  p.  72. 

''^bid.  p.  72. 

"'  Ibid.  p.  Ti. 

""'  War  Department,  Circular  58,  Table  III,  1923,  Washington,  D.C. 

"''  War  Department,  Circular  324,  Table  V,  192 1;  Washington,  D.C. 

'"  War  Medal  For  Wilson,  New  York  Times,  6  October  1920,  p.  14:7. 

"'■^  Chaplains  Sent  To  France,  New  York  Times,  5  April  1922,  p.  2  : 6. 

""Pastor,  in  Plane,  to  Visit  Kin  of  Aviators  Killed  in  War,  New  York  Times,  19  August 
1924,  p.  19:2. 

^"' To  Honor  Chaplains,  New  York  Times,  2  May  1955,  p.  2:3,  To  Unveil  Tablet  to  Army 
Chaplains,  New  York  Times,  25  April  1926;  p.  14:6,  The  Exercises  of  Unveiling  the  Chaplains' 
Memorial  Tablet,  5  May  1926,  Booklet,  files  of  the  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth, 
SI,  New  York. 

^''  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  51. 

"''  President  Pardons  Franz  J.  Feinler,  New  York  Times,  29  June  1921,  p.  1:2. 

'''  Ibid. 

^"  The  Sentinal. 

"•■'Eli  Ginzberg,  The  Negro  Potential,  (New  York:  Columbia  University  Press,  1956), 
p.  62-64. 

""Charles  C.  Moskos,  The  Making  of  Black  America,  Edited  by  August  Meier,  and  Elliott 
Rudwick,  (New  York:  Atheneum,  1969),  p.  428. 

"'Lee  Nichols,  Breakthrough  on  The  Color  Front  (New  York:  Random  House,  1954), 
p.  37. 

"*John  Hope  Franklin,  From  Slavery  To  Freedom  (New  York:  Alfred  A.  Knopf,  4th 
edition,  1974),  p.  357. 

^'^  Nichols,  Breakthrough  on  The  Color  Front,  p.  37. 

'^'^  Ginzberg,  The  Negro  Potential,  p.  64. 

'"'  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  204. 

'■''-'  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  76. 

^"'McFarland,,  Report  To  The  General  Commission  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains,  1927, 
p.  12. 

'^'Ibid.,  p.  15. 

''"■'  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  77. 



Marking  Time  While  Preparing,  The 


The  New  Deal 

In  the  1930's  optimists  viewed  the  period  as  "The  New  Deal",  and 
pessimists  regarded  it  as  the  time  of  'The  Great  Depression."  Following 
the  1929  stock  market  crash  in  America  and  a  worldwide  depression, 
the  1920's  did  not  just  go  away,  they  burst  like  a  champagne  bubble  and 
left  America  with  a  hangover.  Scarcity  of  funds,  pacifism,  isolationism, 
concern  with  internal  affairs  and  the  economy,  all  had  an  effect  on 
the  Army  and  its  chaplaincy.  The  chaplaincy  started  to  become  orga- 
nized, modern,  and  professional,  but  it  was  nearly  strangled  in  its  cradle 
ten  years  before  its  greatest  opportunity  and  challenge,  World  War  II. 

Sydney  E.  Ahlstrom  wrote:  "Fear,  hunger,  and  finally  desperation 
became  the  inevitable  facts  of  life  in  an  emergency  that  had  no  prece- 
dent in  United  States  history."  '  Across  America  and  across  class  lines 
spread  privation.  Men  stood  in  bread  lines,  selling  apples  on  street  corners, 
sleeping  in  subways  and  parks,  even  in  city  incinerators  to  keep  warm. 
Armies  of  homeless  youth  and  adults  roamed  the  land  while  relief  agen- 
cies ran  out  of  money  and  morale  and  had  to  stand  helplessly  by  while 
thousands  suffered.  Violence  erupted  in  some  communities  where  men 
chose  to  steal  rather  than  watch  their  children  starve. 

Lucien  Price  wrote  of  this  period,  "The  eight  years  from  1931  to 
1939  in  the  L'nited  State  were  an  epoch  at  once  of  hope  and  apprehen- 
sion." '  Apprehension  dated  from  the  Japanese  attack  at  Shanghai,  Feb- 
ruary 1932;  hope,  since  our  own  people  were  regaining  confidence  in 
themselves.  The  nation  had  been  through  a  world  war  and  an  economic 
collapse,  through  an  era  of  disenchantment,  bitterness,  and  negation; 
had  rallied,  was  learning  how  to  work  together  for  social  reorganiza- 
tion which  would  gradually  shift  gears  from  excessive  individualism 
to  a  moderate  collectivization.  Our  labor  movement  was  revitalized. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


50  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Two  discoveries  in  opposite  directions  were  made :  we  were  wasting 
natural  resources  at  an  alarming  rate,  with  dust  bowls,  share-croppers, 
squandered  oil  deposits;  and  at  the  same  time  there  was  a  growing  reali- 
zation of  the  immense  power  and  strength  of  the  nation,  the  United 
States  became  a  world  power,  like  it  or  not,  prepared  or  not. 

Perceived  after  the  events,  signs  and  patterns  were  clearly  discern- 
ible, but  at  the  time  people  were  confused  and  asked,  "Whither?"  Man- 
ners and  mores  that  changed  rapidly  in  the  1920's,  which  made  the  period 
a  nightmare  for  conservative  rural  America,  showed  no  signs  of  "get- 
ting back  to  normalcy."  Despite  the  Depression,  urban  civilization  con- 
tinued to  make  its  conquests.  The  World  War  I  song  that  asked,  "How 
you  gonna'  keep  'em  down  on  the  farm  after  they've  seen  Paree?"  was 
a  migratory  anthem. 

The  times  seemed  out  of  joint.  Millions  were  hungry  but  the  gov- 
ernment destroyed  livestock,  and  plowed  corn  under,  WPA  workers 
leaned  on  their  rakes,  while  famous  bank  robbers  and  racketeers  made 
crime  pay.  The  automobile  changed  traditional  ways  of  living  and  lov- 
ing. Sabbath  keeping  lost  ground.  The  repeal  of  Prohibition  was  a  great 
blow  to  the  self  confidence  and  pride  of  conservative  Protestant  church- 
men. Even  FDR's  fireside  chats  failed  to  comfort  some  who  believed  that 
only  drastic  reversals  could  save  the  country  from  aliens  and  radicals.^ 

Frank  Buchman,  leader  of  the  Moral  Re- Armament  (MRA)  group 
was  strongly  anti-communist,  but  friendly  toward  fascism.  He  thanked 
God  for  Adolf  Hitler,  who  "built  a  front  line  of  defense  against  the  Anti- 
Christ  of  Communism."  *  By  the  election  of  1936  foreign  policy  issues 
returned  to  compound  domestic  difficulties.  Japan  began  the  occupation 
of  Manchuria  in  1931,  and  by  1936  extended  its  control  in  China  proper. 
Mussolini  assumed  power  in  Italy,  and  in  1936  felt  strong  enough  to 
conquer  Ethiopia.  Hitler  rose  to  power  in  Germany  even  before  Herbert 
Hoover  left  the  White  House,  and  in  1936  occupied  the  demilitarized 
Rhineland.  In  the  same  year  the  Nationalists  brought  civil  war  to  Spain. ^ 
But  America  tried  not  to  notice.  Intellectual  neutrality  among  the  harsh 
alternatives  of  rising  dictators,  communism,  or  stricken  democracies, 
was  impossible. 

In  the  face  of  these  developments  the  churches  reacted  in  a  wave  of 
pacifism  that  demanded  withdrawal  of  chaplains  from  the  Army  and 
reduction  of  armed  forces,  condemned  war  as  a  sin,  and  made  no  pro- 
vision for  inevitable  conflict.  The  Oxford  Union  peace  pledge  gained 
countless  signers  in  the  colleges  and  universities;  The  Fellowship  of 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Reconciliation  flourished,  especially  in  the  seminaries,  and  prominent 
clergymen  vowed  never  again  to  support  "the  war  system."  ° 

Two  contraditory  assumptions  were  held:  that  civilized  nations 
would  not  resort  to  war;  and  that  America  could  ignore  the  aggressions  of 
the  dictators  with  a  clear  conscience.  As  the  world  situation  darkened, 
the  pacifist  consensus  began  to  weaken.  The  question  was,  collective 
security,  or  nonintervention.  As  late  as  1940  Roosevelt  campaigned  on  a 
pledge  to  keep  our  boys  home.^ 

The  church  in  America  did  not  know  what  to  make  of  these  events. 
The  response  was  confused,  halting,  divided,  and  uncertain.  Optimism 
and  despair,  vacillation  and  blind  dogmatism,  according  to  Ahlstrom, 
were  more  extreme  in  the  Protestant  churches  than  in  American  society 
as  a  whole.^ 

Rock  Bottom  for  the  Army 

The  military  could  only  reflect  the  mood  of  the  country.  And  what 
was  the  Army  like?  William  Manchester  wrote,  "those  were  dog  days  for 
professional  soldiers."  ^  It  took  twenty-two  years  to  chmb  from  captain 
to  major.  Sheer  boredom  nearly  drove  Eisenhower  to  the  point  of  resign- 
ing. Patton  had  been  a  major  since  1919.  He  passed  the  time  riding 
horses  and  won  four  hundred  ribbons  and  two  hundred  cups.  The  U.S. 
Army  was  the  sixteenth  largest  in  the  world,  behind  Czechoslovakia, 
Turkey,  Spain,  Romania,  and  Poland.  Privates  were  paid  $17.85  per 
month.  When  the  forces  patrolling  the  Mexican  border,  protecting  U.S. 
possessions  overseas,  and  committed  to  desk  work,  were  accounted  for — 
MacArthur  had  30,000  troops  left — fewer  than  the  force  King  George 
sent  to  tame  the  rebellious  American  colonists  in  1776.  In  a  crisis  the 
Army  could  have  fielded  1,000  tanks,  all  obsolete;  1,509  aircraft,  the 
fastest  could  fly  234  mph ;  and  a  single  mechanized  regiment,  organized 
at  Fort  Knox  in  the  spring  of  1932,  led  by  cavalrymen  on  horses  which 
wore  mustard-gas-proof  boots.  There  was  one  sedan  in  the  entire  Army.^° 

The  Pacifist  Tempest  Grows 

The  plight  of  the  nation's  economy  dominated  the  events  of  the 
thirties.  Economic  history  and  military  history  were  inextricably  bound 
to  one  another.  The  size  of  the  Army,  training,  planning,  equipment, 
and  priorities  were  determined  in  large  measure  by  scarcity  of  funds.  By 
itself,  the  state  of  the  economy  posed  no  threat  to  the  chaplaincy;  but 
combined  with  a  growing  pacifism  that  had  started  in  the  twenties ;  and 
gained  momentum  and  volume  in  the  thirties,  the  threat  to  the  life  of 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

52  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

the  chaplaincy  was  real.  The  Army  was  cut  to  the  bone,  and  even  some 
of  the  bones  were  severed.  Continued  attacks  on  the  chaplaincy  from 
pacifist  elements  of  the  churches  had  a  direct  effect  in  military  circles. 
Many  military  leaders  felt  that  chaplains  were  not  wanted  by  an  influ- 
ential segment  of  the  religious  world  and  were  inclined  to  overlook  their 
needs  in  favor  of  more  pressing  demands.  General  Craig,  Army  Chief  of 
Staff,  was  an  astute  politician  keenly  aware  of  the  relationship  between 
public  opinion  and  military  strength.  Craig  was  convinced  that  the 
churches  were  against  chaplains.  He  pushed  for  a  reduction  in  force  of 
chaplain  strength.'^ 

At  the  same  time  the  Superintendent  at  West  Point  told  the  Army 
G-1  (Personnel)  that  he  felt  a  Regular  Army  Chaplain  did  not  have 
enough  education  or  ability  for  the  position  of  chaplain  at  the  Academy, 
and  retained  a  civilian  Episcopal  clergyman.  The  Superintendent  shared 
the  opinion  promulgated  by  pacifists  that  only  those  clergymen  volun- 
teered for  duty  who  were  not  qualified  for  the  civilian  ministry  or  who 
had  gotten  into  trouble.  The  idea  that  chaplains  were  clergymen  who 
"couldn't  make  it  on  the  outside"  continued  to  be  an  evaluation  they 
labored  to  dispell,  even  to  the  present.'"  The  modern  chaplaincy,  if  out 
of  its  infancy,  certainly  was  beseiged  in  its  adolescence  by  earnest  attempts 
to  end  its  life  altogether.  The  Literary  Digest  in  1933  reported: 

The  Padre  bent  down  to  hear  the  dying  soldier's  prayer.  .  .  .  But 
there  will  be  no  more  of  that  if  a  movement  afoot  to  ask  the  churches 
to  withdraw  chaplains  from  the  Army  and  Navy  succeeds. 

The  withdrawal  was  proposed  to  the  trustees  of  the  Church  Peace 
Union  and  the  World  Alliance  for  International  Friendship,  which  met 
recently  at  Atlantic  City,  "as  an  expression  of  the  Church's  abhorrence 
of  war."  " 

The  churches  remorse  for  the  excessive  militarism  shown  during 
World  War  I  led  to  a  widespread  commitment  to  dogmatic  Christian 
pacifism.  The  Federal  Council  of  Churches  greeted  the  United  States 
Senate's  consent  to  the  Kellog-Briand  Peace  Pact  with  jubilation.  Much 
of  what  was  written  and  said  after  that  revealed  a  real  sense  of  corporate 
guilt.  (Aft-er  Lincoln  was  assassinated  there  were  sermons  about  the  evils 
of  theatre  going.  When  President  Kennedy  was  shot,  many  a  memorial 
service  attempted  to  make  the  worshipper  feel  guilty,  a  part  of  the  cli- 
mate of  hate,  as  though  the  nation  pulled  the  trigger,  not  one  man — who 
carried  to  his  death  the  reasons  for  his  act. )  Somehow  in  the  public  mind 
or  the  clergy's,  the  church  became  responsible  for  World  War  I  by  not 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Stopping  it.  Such  was  the  apparent  reading  of  the  times,  and  the  way 
out  was  to  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  "war  system." 
The  Baltimore  Southern  Methodist  said : 

There  is  more  talking  through  the  middle  of  the  ministerial  hat  on 
the  subject  of  war  and  disarmament  than  upon  any  topic  which  is  to  the 
fore  today.  During  the  late  world  conflict,  everyone,  even  ministers  had 
militaristic  leanings,  and  many  of  the  preachers  now  shouting  loudly 
for  peace  at  any  price  were  then  thundering  death  and  destruction  at 
the  Germans,  and  were  retailing  tales  of  'atrocities'  which  every  college 
freshman  know  were  being  manufactured  in  quantity  lots  by  French, 
British,  and  American  propagandists.^* 

Ashamed  of  the  general  attitude  of  the  ministry  during  the  World 
War,  and  often  astonished  by  the  extravagant  statements  on  the  part  of 
those  who  were  there  to  proclaim  the  gospel  of  the  Prince  of  Peace ;  the 
pendulum  swung  the  other  way.  As  if  in  revulsion  against  the  mud  and 
blood  era,  the  movement  calling  for  disarmament,  ".  .  .  has  been  pushed 
to  an  extreme  wherein  men  shout  that  'all  war  is  murder'  and  would  tag 
such  men  as  George  Washington  and  the  signers  of  the  Declaration  as 
guilty  of  their  brother's  blood." 

In  1930  Peter  Ainslie,  pastor  of  a  Baltimore  church,  spoke  out  against 
Army  chaplains  in  a  sermon  concerning  the  basically  unchristian  nature 
of  war.  He  declared  ".  .  .  the  position  of  the  Army  chaplain  is  in  reality 
a  wicked  anachronism,  and  should  be  abolished."  Ainslie  concluded, 
"There  is  no  more  justification  for  being  a  chaplain  in  the  Army  or 
Navy,  than  there  is  for  being  a  chaplain  in  a  speakeasy."  " 

The  Reverend  Dr.  Jason  Noble  Pierce  was  pastor  of  the  First  Con- 
gregational Church,  in  which  Ainslie's  controversial  sermon  was  preached. 
He  wrote  a  letter  to  Ainslie  picked  up  by  the  press,  in  which  he  said  the 
United  States  and  its  churches  were  "maligned"  by  a  statement  that 
World  War  I  was  carried  on  by  Christian  nations ;  that  responsibility  for 
it  rested  upon  the  Christian  Church ;  and  that  churches  and  nations  were 
indifferent  to  right  or  wrong,  but  solely  concerned  with  winning  the  war. 
"You  referred  to  chaplains  praying  that  their  soldiers  might  shoot  straight 
and  kill  all  the  enemy  possible,"  he  said.  "My  testimony  as  the  senior 
chaplain  of  the  Second  Division,  A.E.F.,  is  that  I  never  made  and  never 
heard  such  a  prayer.  Chaplains  cared  for  the  wounded  and  dying,  both 
friend  and  foe."  Pierce  said  that  as  president  of  the  national  organization 
of  chaplains  of  the  military  services,  he  did  not  know  of  a  chaplain  who 
did  not  hate  war  and  who  did  not  "work  and  pray  for  peace."  " 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78 

54  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Chaplain  Yates,  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  was  also  present  for  Ainslie's 
sermon  and  called  it  "pretty  trying  medicine."  After  listening  to  it  he 
went  to  his  office  and  wrote  a  "spirited  reply,"  which  he  did  not  send. 
"I  got  my  sentiments  off  my  chest  and  upon  more  sober  reflection  did 
not  deem  it  necessary  to  add  my  voice  to  that  of  Dr.  Pierce  other  than 
orally."  "  The  New  York  Herald  Tribune  denounced  the  sermon  "as  a 
blatantly  outragous  slander  on  the  chaplains."  '^ 

In  1933,  at  the  meeting  of  the  Church  Peace  Union  and  the  World 
Alliance  for  International  Friendship  at  Atlantic  City,  Ainslie  made  a 
proposal  to  refuse  to  authorize  clergymen  to  serve  as  chaplains  in  war  or 
in  peacetime.  Newton  D.  Baker,  Secretary  of  War  under  President  Wil- 
son, answered  his  proposal  by  testifying  to  the  value  of  the  chaplains' 
ministry  in  peace  and  war  and  said  that  the  chaplain  was  as  needed  for 
the  spiritual  life  of  a  regiment  as  "the  clergyman  is  to  the  moral  needs  of 
a  community."  '® 

In  1931,  Kirby  Page  sent  a  questionnaire  to  53,000  of  the  100,000 
clergymen  in  the  United  States  and  received  20,000  replies  to  the  ques- 
tion about  willingness  to  serve  as  chaplains.  Jorgensen  wrote : 

Seventeen  percent  (3,500)  said  they  would  not.  The  News  of  In- 
dianapolis, Indiana  referred  to  these  as  The  Page  Army'  and  said  the 
pool  proved  that  chaplains  were  available.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that 
Page  did  not  send  the  questionnaires  to  Jews,  Catholics,  Lutherans, 
Southern  Baptists,  or  Southern  Methodists,  none  of  whom  had  joined 
the  peace  parade.^" 

In  1934  the  Newark  Conference  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church 
voted  against  any  member  of  the  conference  serving  as  an  Army  or  Navy 
Chaplain.  The  Disciples  of  Christ,  in  their  national  convention  at  Kansas 
City  in  October  1936,  voted  to  withdraw  from  the  General  Committee 
on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains  and  petitioned  the  Federal  Council  of  the 
Churches  of  Christ  in  America  to  disband  it.  The  General  Synod  of  the 
Evangelical  and  Reformed  Church  also  withdrew  from  the  Committee  in 
the  same  year.  To  complicate  the  picture  of  church  support  and  nonsup- 
port,  the  Lutheran  Church-Missouri  Synod  and  the  National  Baptist 
Convention  of  America  both  picked  the  year  1936  to  become  members 
of  the  Committee.^^ 

At  a  symposium  held  in  a  Brooklyn  church,  participants  discussed 
the  question,  "Why  do  the  radicals  wish  to  abolish  army  and  navy 
chaplains?"  Pastor  William  Carter,  a  Reserve  chaplain,  said  "It  might  be 
caused  by  radicals'  desires  to  be  against  everything  old,  against  religion 
and  against  patriotism."  S.  W.  Salisbury,  later  Navy  Chief  of  Chaplains, 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


was  then  stationed  at  the  Brooklyn  Navy  Yard;  as  a  participant  in  the 
symposium,  he  came  closer  to  the  heart  of  the  matter  with  a  suggestion 
that  the  opposition  arose  from  ignorance  of  the  chaplains'  duties.'^ 

Hardly  an  issue  of  The  Army  Chaplain  or  the  Christian  Century 
appeared  in  this  decade  \\'ithout  setting  forth  the  two  opposing  positions. 
As  a  result  of  this  opposition  the  chaplaincy  had  to  struggle  against  an 
adverse  public  opinion  which  influenced  military  leaders,  Brasted  said 
that  his  "biggest  problem  as  Chief  of  Chaplains  was  with  the  ultra- 
pacifists."  ■' 

The  opposition  to  the  chaplaincy  was  based  on  five  major  points : 

1 .  Churches  should  stop  recommending  ministers  for  the  chaplaincy 
because  the  war  system  was  against  the  Gospel. 

2.  The  Committee  on  Chaplains  should  be  abolished,  for  it  repre- 
sented a  contradiction  to  the  Church's  stand  against  war. 

3.  Chaplains  should  not  wear  the  uniform  or  distinctive  military 
insignia,  have  rank,  or  be  paid  by  the  government  because  officer  status 
hurt  his  relation  with  both  officers  and  enlisted  men. 

4.  The  chaplaincy  violated  the  principle  of  separation  of  church 
and  state. '^ 

5.  Chaplains  were  given  additional  duties  which  kept  them  from 
their  ministry  and  held  them  captive  to  efficiency  reports  so  that  they 
were  not  free  to  prophetically  confront  the  system. 

Those  who  stood  by  the  chaplaincy  held  that : 

1 .  To  be  unprepared  for  war  invited  rather  than  deterred  it. 

2.  While  renouncing  the  horrors  of  war,  they  felt  a  responsibility  to 
minister  to  those  caught  up  in  it. 

3.  Rank,  uniform,  and  status  were  not  for  the  benefit  of  the  indi- 
vidual chaplain,  but  to  facilitate  his  better  serving  all  men  of  the  unit  to 
which  he  was  assigned.  It  gave  him  a  professional  relationship  to  the 
men  and  the  use  of  military  channels  for  helping  them. 

4.  The  churches  controlled  their  ministers  in  uniform,  not  the  Army. 
Rarely  was  a  chaplain  asked  to  do  anything  that  xiolated  this  principle, 
and  still  more  rare  was  the  chaplain  who  knuckled  under. 

5.  Chaplains,  more  than  anyone  else,  agreed  that  their  duties  should 
be  spiritual,  not  military."'' 

As  a  result  of  increasing  criticism  the  Executive  Committee  of  the 
Federal  Council  requested  the  Research  Department  to  make  a  study  of 
the  chaplaincy,  and  questionnaires  were  sent  out  to  all  chaplains.  At  the 
same  time  the  General  Committee  made  its  own  study.  Both  were  com- 
pleted in  two  years,  and  reported  to  the  Executive  Committee  in  the  spring 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

56  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

of  1936.  Joseph  R.  Sizoo,  Chairman  of  the  General  Committee  and  author 
of  its  report,  brought  certain  realities  to  light.  He  pointed  out  that  no 
matter  what  differences  of  opinion  were  held,  all  were  in  essential  agree- 
ment on  the  need  for  providing  spiritual  ministry  to  servicemen.  He  ques- 
tioned whether  or  not  the  denominations  could  provide  the  salaries, 
housing,  transportation,  medical  care,  and  retirement  benefits  which  were 
provided  by  the  government.  The  report  concluded,  "Protestant  Chris- 
tianity by  continuing  this  Committee  does  not  endorse  war,  or  become 
part  of  the  war  system.  It  simply  determines  that  an  adequate  spiritual 
ministry  shall  function  vv^hile  the  service  is  maintained."  ^'^  Theology  was 
determined  in  the  end  by  the  reality  of  economics. 

In  1938,  a  follow  up  report  recommended  removal  of  rank  and  "con- 
tinuous study"  of  the  chaplaincy.  It  also  declared  that  a  plan  to  replace 
military  chaplains  with  civilians  was  impractical.^^ 

There  was  a  belief  among  chaplains  that  they  were  not  understood 
or  appreciated  even  by  their  own  denominations.  The  chairman  of  the 
Committee  wrote  a  letter  to  all  chaplains  commenting  on  "the  feeling 
that  the  chaplain  and  the  ecclesiastical  groups  which  he  represents  are 
drifting  apart."  "®  The  Chief  of  Chaplains  felt  the  answer  was  to  present 
a  realistic  picture  of  the  chaplains'  work.  The  church  felt  that  the  chaplain 
was  a  "captive";  and  in  Brasted's  opinion  the  chaplains  needed  to  let 
their  supporters  know  that  this  was  not  the  case.  He  wrote,  "We  should 
take  advantage  of  every  opportunity  to  present  our  work  to  civilian  con- 
gregations and  to  make  it  clear  that  the  Army  chaplain  is  not  handicapped 
in  promoting  the  Kingdom  of  God  and  His  righteousness."  '^ 

The  chaplains  wanted  practical  help  in  another  direction.  Chaplain 
Carpenter  wrote  in  1937 : 

Someday  I  hope  to  have  the  experience  and  pleasure  that  could  be 
mine  were  some  civilian  minister  to  write  that  one  of  his  congregation  was 
entering  the  Army,  and  commending  that  individual  to  the  care  of  the 
chaplain  for  spiritual  and  religious  needs.  These  soldiers  talk  so  often  of 
home,  home  churches,  Sunday  School  teachers,  their  home  ministers. 
There  is  so  much  of  real  worth  that  could  he  accomplished  in  cooperative 
efforts  between  the  civilian  minister  and  the  Army  chaplain  to  bring 
God's  kingdom  closer  to  the  lives  of  the  men  in  khaki. ^° 

The  churches  did  move  closer  to  their  chaplains.  The  events  in 
Europe,  which  threatened  to  involve  the  nation  in  war,  reduced  opposi- 
tion to  the  chaplaincy.  The  focus  became,  not  whether  to  have  a  chap- 
laincy, but  how  the  churches  could  best  support  a  ministry  to  men  in  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Besides  the  church,  or  a  vocal  part  of  it,  \vhich  spoke  for  the  pacifists 
movement,  there  were  many  others.  The  Veterans  of  Foreign  Wars  cam- 
paigned for  25  milHon  signatures  to  convince  Congress  of  the  need  for 
neutraHty  legislation.  Among  college  students,  military  pacifism  was 
something  of  a  cult.  Dr.  Gallup  reported  that  his  latest  poll  showed  90% 
would  fight  only  if  America  were  invaded,  and  10%  said  they  would 
fight  if  America  were  not  invaded.  Senator  Arthur  H.  Vandenberg  swore 
never  to  send  American  boys  to  war  under  any  circumstances.  Senator 
Borah  declared  that  it  was  all  hysteria,  manufactured,  artificial,  bluflF  and 
jitterism.  The  Lone  Eagle,  Charles  A.  Lindbergh,  told  radio  audiences 
that  Americans  should  not  be  misguided  by  foreign  propaganda  into 
believing  that  "our  frontiers  lie  in  Europe."  He  felt  that  it  was  a  quarrel 
arising  out  of  the  errors  of  the  last  war,  and  America  should  not  get 
involved. ^^ 

The  country's  military  establishment  continued  to  shrink  during 
Roosevelt's  first  term,  until  America  had  fewer  soldiers  than  Henry  Ford 
had  auto  workers.  When  the  President  visited  Oahu  a  military  exercise 
was  staged  in  his  honor.  The  spectacle  turned  into  a  travesty;  half  the 
trucks  and  seven  of  the  twelve  tanks  (World  War  I  models)  broke  down 
in  front  of  the  startled  commander  in  chief.'"  Dean  Acheson  quoted  the 
old  chestnut  about  American's  lack  of  military  preparedness,  that  God 
looks  after  children,  drunkards,  and  the  United  States  of  America. 
Pacifism  was  a  hope  that  helped  prevent  military  preparedness. 

A  Reduction  in  Force  Contemplated 

Army  planners  looked  at  chaplain  spaces  and  came  up  with  a  plan 
that  would  have  annihilated  the  corps.  A  May  1932  issue  of  the  Army  and 
Navy  Journal  carried  this  report : 

"Virtual  disintegration  of  the  Chaplain  corps  of  the  Regular  Army 
is  threatened  if  the  reductions  contained  in  the  Army  Apportion  Act  are 
carried  out.  According  to  a  study  prepared  by  the  War  Department  afTect- 
ing  all  arms  and  services,  the  Chaplain  corps,  under  the  proposed  reduc- 
tion of  2,000  officers,  will  lose  the  services  of  80  chaplains,  approximately 
662/3  percent  of  the  present  authorized  strength  of  the  corps.  .  .  ."  '^ 

The  plan  called  for  age-in-grade  retirements  of  first  lieutenants  at 
age  35.  Because  of  college,  seminary,  and  pastoral  experience,  the  average 
age  of  chaplains  coming  into  the  Army  was  thirty  or  more.  They  had  to 
serve  five  years  in  grade  as  a  first  lieutenant  before  becoming  eligible  for 
promotion,  which  meant  they  \vere  almost  automatically  retired.  "The 
retention  of  40  chaplains  .  .  .  would  be  nothing  short  of  a  farce,  and  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

58  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

belief  has  been  expressed  by  representative  clergyman  that  it  would  be 
justifiable  to  remove  the  corps  altogether  rather  than  retain  a  member- 
ship so  hopelessly  inadequate  to  the  need."  ^* 

The  article  went  on  to  list  the  names,  denominations,  and  stations 
of  those  who  would  be  axed  under  the  plan;  included  were  Colonel  Julian 
E.  Yates,  then  serving  as  Chief  of  Chaplains;  Lieutenant  Colonel  Louis 
C.  Carter,  the  highest  ranking  black  chaplain;  and  Lieutenant  Colonels 
Alva  J.  Brasted  and  Gynther  Storaasli,  destined  to  become  future  Chiefs 
of  Chaplains  in  the  Army  and  Air  Force.  It  was  a  reduction  in  force  (rif ) 
to  end  all  rifs.  Fortunately  reason  prevailed,  and  the  plan  was  shelved ;  in 
large  part  because  of  developments  within  the  Civilian  Conservation 
Corps,  and  because  General  Craig  had  misread  the  real  feeling  of  the 
majority  of  churchmen  who  supported  a  ministry  to  the  military.  (See 
footnote   11.) 

The  CCC  and  the  Chaplaincy 

The  most  significant  event  of  the  decade  for  the  Army  chaplaincy 
was  the  development  of  the  Civilian  Conservation  Corps  (the  CCC). 
More  chaplains  were  on  active  duty  with  the  CCC  than  with  the  Army. 
The  number  of  Regular  Army  chaplains  remained  constant  at  125,  while 
more  than  300  Reserve  chaplains  each  year  served  the  CCC  during  its 
zenith.  The  usual  period  of  service  for  a  Reservist  was  eighteen  to  twenty- 
four  months.  In  the  ten  year  period  the  CCC  lasted,  hundreds  of  chaplains 
received  invaluable  training;  working  with  large  numbers  of  men  in 
camps,  with  a  cross-section  of  American  youth  more  varied  than  in  a 
local  parish.  The  CCC  was  not  designed  to  save  the  chaplaincy,  but  it 
certainly  helped.  Public  opinion  backed  the  idea  that  something  needed  to 
be  done  about  the  economy  and  youth.  CCC  planning  included  a  religious 
ministry  by  Army  chaplains. 

John  A.  Salmond  wrote  that  the  CCC  was  created  to  meet  two 
immediate  needs : 

In  the  chaos  of  depression  America,  almost  two  million  men  and 
women  had  abandoned  all  pretense  to  settled  existence  and  had  simply 
taken  to  the  road,  traveling  in  freight  cars  or  on  foot,  sleeping  in  caves  or 
in  shanty  towns,  aimlessly  drifting  in  search  of  vanished  security.  Among 
them  were  250,000  young  people,  'the  teenage  tramps  of  America'  as 
they  were  sometimes  called,  all  .  .  .  wandering  the  land  looking  for  a 
future.  The  need  to  rescue  them  was  critical. ^^ 

Even  those  who  stayed  off  the  road  could  not  find  jobs.  Figures  of 
unemployment  among  young  people  indicated  that  in  1932,  of  those 

See  footnotes  at  end   of  chapter. 


between  the  ages  of  fifteen  and  twenty-four  who  were  in  the  labor  market, 
one  in  four  was  totally  unemployed;  a  further  twenty-one  percent  worked 
part  time.^*'  This  was  an  American  crisis.  The  government  could  not  afford 
to  ignore  their  plight. 

The  second  immediate  problem  was  not  people,  but  land.  Forests 
once  covered  800,000,000  acres  of  the  continental  United  States,  but  by 
1933  were  reduced  to  1,000,000  acres  of  virgin  timber.  The  destruction 
of  the  forests  was  followed  by  soil  erosion.  Three  billion  tons  of  the  best 
soil  washed  away  from  fields  and  pastures  each  year.  By  1934  a  sixth  of 
the  continent  was  gone,  or  was  going.  Sections  of  the  Great  Plains  were 
turned  into  a  dust  bowl.^' 

The  Civilian  Conservation  Corps  was  thus,  in  one  sense,  a  catalyst, 
and  in  another,  a  response.  Through  it  a  new  President,  Franklin  Delano 
Roosevelt,  brought  together  two  wasted  resources,  the  young  men  and 
the  land,  in  an  attempt  to  save  both.  Of  all  the  New  Deal  agencies,  the 
CCC  was  Roosevelt's  most  personal  creation,  and  his  most  successful. ^^ 

The  President  directed  the  four  Secretaries  of  War,  Labor,  Interior, 
and  Agriculture  to  meet,  which  they  did  on  15  March  1933.  Their 
planning  determined  that  an  enrollee  would  be  paid  one  dollar  per  day; 
if  he  had  dependents,  he  was  required  to  make  a  monthly  allotment  to 
them.  No  age  limit  was  set,  and  there  was  no  provision  against  married 
men  made  at  that  time.  All  enrollments  would  be  voluntary.^^ 

Salmond  wrote  that  it  was  agreed  "the  Army's  role  \\  ould  be  con- 
fined to  collecting  the  selected  men,  clothing  them,  giving  them  a  physi- 
cal examination,  conditioning  them  for  about  two  weeks,  and  then  trans- 
porting them  to  the  various  camps."  The  Army's  Chief  of  Staff,  General 
Douglas  MacArthur,  definitely  stated  that  he  contemplated  "no  mili- 
tary training  whatsoever."  The  country  would  have  opposed  that,  and 
the  Army  regarded  the  CCC  as  a  diversion  from  its  primary  mission 
of  winning  the  country's  wars.  The  Department  of  Agriculture  would 
take  over  the  actual  work  of  reforestation,  conservation  and  construction 
projects.  By  March  24,  though  the  CCC  Bill  itself  was  still  in  committee, 
the  General  Staff  had  drafted  complete  regulations  governing  the  Army's 
role  in  the  establishment  and  maintenance  of  the  Corps.  The  regulations 
included  the  division  of  the  country  into  nine  Corps  areas  for  administra- 
tive purposes. 

The  Army  was  ready,  but  the  Department  of  Agriculture  wasn't. 
When  the  President  disclosed  his  timetable  and  the  huge  number  of  men 
he  wanted  in  the  program,  the  Department  simply  lacked  the  needed 
personnel,  funds,  equipment,  and  expertise.  The  Army  took  over  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

60  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

program  in  an  expanded  role :  "to  assume  under  the  general  supervision 
of  the  Director,  complete  and  permanent  control  of  the  CCC  project."  *" 

The  President  signed  the  bill  on  31  March  1933,  issued  Executive 
Order  number  6101  on  5  April,  and  the  Corps  began  its  official  existence. 
As  things  worked  out,  enrollees  were  officially  between  the  ages  of  18-25, 
single,  and  willing  to  send  between  $22  and  $25  of  their  $30  per  month 
to  their  dependents.  In  actual  practice  seventeen-year  olds  were  admitted. 
Executive  Order  number  6129,  11  May  1933,  authorized  the  enrollment 
of  25,000  WWI  veterans.  On  14  April  1933  the  provisions  of  the  Emer- 
gency Conservation  Work  program  were  extended  to  14,400  American 
Indians,  By  July  1942,  88,439  of  them  had  participated  in  the  program 
and  "were  happy  to  be  able  to  compete  in  this  work  with  the  white 
man."  " 

The  Army  accomplished  the  largest  peacetime  mobilization  of  men 
the  United  States  had  ever  seen.  1,300  camps  were  built,  and  within 
three  months  274,375  men  were  at  work.  Their  duties  included  emer- 
gency work  in  fire  fighting,  flood  control,  and  relief  work  as  a  result  of 
tornado,  hurricane  and  blizzard/^ 

Robert  Fechner,  Director  of  Emergency  Conservation  Work,  stated 
that  "Roosevelt's  Tree  Army,"  as  it  was  dubbed  by  the  popular  press, 
was  created  not  just  to  grow  trees,  but  to  build  men.  In  the  same  way, 
the  CCC  was  seen  as  an  agency  to  strengthen  the  morale  of  the  male 
youth  of  the  country,  to  build  character,  to  snatch  each  one  from  what 
Chaplain  E.  R.  Baublitz  described  as  the  "toboggan  of  idleness  and 
laziness  and  consequent  physical  and  moral  degeneration,  and  set  him 
in  the  way  to  new  and  wholesome  growth  of  physique,  mind  and  charac- 
ter. Indeed  there  is  ample  testimony  for  stating  that  many  thousands 
of  American  young  men  have  thus  been  saved  from  the  ranks  of  pro- 
fessional bums  and  moral  derelicts  all  too  commonly  found  in  our  larger 
towns  and  cities."  ^"^  Whether  Chaplain  Baublitz  was  aware  of  it  or  not 
it  was  that  army  of  potential  bums  and  derelicts  that  inadvertently 
"saved"  the  chaplaincy.  By  the  mid-thirties  300  chaplains.  Regular  and 
Reserve,  were  on  duty  with  the  CCC. 

Alva  J.  Brasted,  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  during  the  build  up  of  the 

CCC  wrote: 

It  has  been  my  good  fortune  to  be  closely  associated  with  the  re- 
ligious work  of  the  Civilian  Conservation  Corps  since  this  movement 
began  ...  for  nine  months  as  District  Chaplain  of  62  camps  and  since 
December  23,  1933,  as  Chief  of  Chaplains,  supervising  the  religious 
work  of  all  these  camps  as  well  as  that  in  the  regular  army  posts.  To 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


go  about  the  country  visiting  the  C.C.C.  personnel,  giving  character 
building  lectures,  holding  conferences,  hearing  our  religious  work  dis- 
cussed by  those  who  are  doing  it,  gives  me  a  thrill  and  happiness  which 
neither  tongue  nor  pen  can  express. 

I  speak  not  only  for  myself  but  for  all  our  chaplains  when  I  say 
that  the  most  remarkable  experience  any  man  can  have  is  to  help  these 
boys  in  their  personal  problems,  and  to  direct  them  in  the  way  of  right 
thinking  and  right  habits,  in  a  word  to  help  them  develop  in  character 
and  to  become  more  like  the  men  they  want  to  be  and  ought  to  be.** 

The  purpose  of  the  religious  w^orkers  in  the  CCC  was  to  conserve 
and  to  develop  that  character  which  is  the  hope  of  men  and  nations.  As 
time  permitted  the  CCC  chaplain  promoted  athletics,  educational  work, 
and  all  good  wholesome  recreational  activities;  but  belie\'ed  that  of  all 
factors  strong  to  advance  the  cause  of  character  building,  religion  was 
the  most  potent.  Brasted  wrote,  "The  chaplain  is  in  the  camps  to  direct 
men  to  Him  whom  God  has  appointed  to  be  the  leader  and  commander 

f  55    45 

or  men. 

Chaplain  William  R.  Arnold,  while  at  Fort  Bliss,  was  asked  by 
the  general  in  charge  of  the  CCC  district  including  Texas,  Arizona,  and 
New  Mexico  to  provide  religious  coverage  for  the  camps.  Arnold  re- 
quested call-ups  of  Reserve  chaplains;  meanwhile,  he  himself  attempted 
to  serve  20  camps,  traveling  2,000  miles  per  month.  Richard  Braunstien, 
(1st  Lieutenant)  Chaplain  Reserve,  working  in  the  Binghamton  Dis- 
trict, wrote  an  article  called  "The  Circuit  Rider  Returns,"  in  which  he 
said,  "The  soul  of  Francis  Asbury  marches  on  .  .  .  The  CCC  Chaplain 
makes  history  repeat  itself  in  its  best  moods."  ^" 

One  day  Arnold,  a  Catholic,  met  a  fellow  priest  at  a  railroad  station 
and  asked  what  he  was  doing  in  that  part  of  Texas.  Jorgensen  wrote : 

He  said  that  he  had  come  for  his  health.  Arnold  persuaded  him  to 
enter  the  reserves  and  help  with  CCC  work.  He  volunteered,  accepted 
a  commission,  and  ser\ed  20  camps  with  distinction.  When  Arnold 
became  Chief  of  Chaplains,  he  persuaded  the  priest  to  apply  for  a  Reg- 
ular Army  commission.  However,  the  report  of  his  physical  examina- 
tion was  marked  "insufficient  masticating  teeth,"  for  the  priest  had  19 
instead  of  the  20  required.  When  Arnold  brought  the  matter  up  to 
the  Surgeon  General  and  to  General  Marshall,  he  was  told,  "It's 
up  to  you."  Arnold  replied,  "He's  one  of  the  best.  I  want  him  to  serve 
men  as  a  chaplain — not  bite  them." 

The  priest  was  Terence  P.  Finnegan,  who  became  Chief  of  Air 
Force  Chaplains  in  1958.  He  and  many  others  who  served  with  dis- 
tinction in  World  War  H  entered  military  service  by  way  of  the  CCC 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

62  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

When  Brasted  became  Chief  he  requested  permission  to  visit  CCC 
camps  throughout  the  United  States  and  Hawaii.  "He  said  there  was  a 
difference  between  knowing  a  chaplain — his  work  and  problems — from 
his  reports  or  from  personally  visiting  him  in  the  field.  General  Mac- 
Arthur  and  General  Drum  approved  the  plan,  and  Brasted  took  to  the 
road.  On  one  trip  alone  he  put  more  than  15,000  miles  on  his  car."  In 
1936  Brasted  stated  in  his  annual  report  that  he  traveled  "24,000  miles 
in  36  States,  tTie  Canal  Zone  and  Puerto  Rico  . . .  More  than  three  fourths 
of  this  mileage  has  been  covered  without  expense  to  the  Government." 

After  he  retired  and  had  attained  the  age  of  82,  he  said  of  that 
experience : 

I  will  never  forget  visiting  the  camps  in  the  Rockies — seeing  the 
sunset  as  it  can  only  be  seen  in  the  mountains,  the  coming  of  dusk,  then 
the  evening  service  with  the  men  gathered  around  a  camp  fire.  There 
was  a  holiness  and  grandeur  in  this  experience  which  is  difficult  to  de- 
scribe; it  must  be  experienced.*® 

The  CCC  made  itinerant  ministry  imperative.  While  the  Chief 
requested  the  same  ratio  of  chaplains  to  men  as  that  of  the  Army, 
1/1,200,  that  was  considered  too  expensive.  Many  civilian  ministers, 
priests,  and  rabbis  served  camps  without  pay;  still,  chaplains  were  spread 
thin.  Few  camps  were  really  large ;  mostly,  the  men  were  in  small  work 
camps.  Chaplain  Paul  Giegerich  for  example,  from  1936  to  1940  never 
served  less  than  12  camps,  each  with  200  men,  scattered  over  a  dozen 
counties  in  Pennsylvania  and  Maryland.  As  a  circuit-riding  priest  in  uni- 
form he  drove  his  own  car  over  many  miles  of  treacherous  back  roads, 
averaging  100  miles  a  day.  He  had  no  assistant.  His  equipment:  an  over- 
night bag  and  a  mass  kit.^^  More  than  one  chaplain  took  a  homesick  or 
disturbed  young  man  along  on  these  trips.  After  shoveling  snow  drifts, 
passing  out  hymnals,  and  sweeping  up  a  recreation  hall,  his  personal 
problems  seemed  much  less  acute. ^^ 

One  chaplain  wrote: 

My  camps  are  in  the  mountains  and  separated  by  great  distances. 
The  driver  of  the  government  car  which  had  been  placed  at  my  disposal 
was  a  CCC  boy.  Near  the  end  of  summer  after  traveling  many  thousands 
of  miles  together,  the  boy  broke  out  one  day  with  these  words:  "Chap- 
lain, I  wish  I  could  be  like  you.  You  do  not  speak  as  I  do.  I  have  been 
in  your  home  and  as  you  talk  with  your  son  and  your  wife  I  have  noted 
that  your  words  and  conversation  are  entirely  different  from  anything 
I  have  ever  known.  I  have  always  thought  it  smart  to  use  rough  vile 
language.  But  I  see  my  mistake  and  I  should  like  to  talk  and  act  like 
you."  '^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Another  chaplain  in  the  same  state  told  about  a  boy  who  came  into 
the  CCC  from  a  home  where  he  was  often  beaten,  kicked,  and  half  star\'ed 
by  a  cruel  and  brutal  stepfather.  The  chaplain  said,  "There  is  no 
reason  to  doubt  the  truth  of  his  story."  This  boy  who  never  knew  kind- 
ness and  lo\e  from  his  father  learned  the  characteristics  of  true  father 
hood  from  his  chaplain  and  company  commander.  The  chaplain  said, 
"This  is  our  challenge.  We  must  play  father  to  all  these  boys.  There  are 
some  boys  here  who  never  knew  what  it  meant  to  have  a  loving  father. 
Let  us  show  them  w^hat  a  real  father  can  be  to  a  boy.  Let  us  advise  them 
and  train  them  and  let  them  see  what  they  have  missed;  and  help  them 
to  make  up  in  some  measure  what  they  have  lost."  "^ 

Chaplain  Wilfred  A.  Munday,  in  sub-zero  weather,  drove  with  a 
clergy  friend  to  notify  relatives  of  the  death  of  their  son.  The  family 
lived  100  miles  northeast  of  Bemidji,  Minnesota,  with  no  phone 
connections.  The  clergymen  arrived,  over  icy  roads,  at  t\\  o  o'clock  in  the 
morning;  after  a  heartbreaking  half  hour  with  the  family,  they  fought  a 
snow-storm  all  the  way  home,  where  they  arrived  at  six  a.m.  "This  is  but 
one  of  many  incidents  in  the  life  of  a  chaplain  with  the  CCC  in  northern 
Minnesota;  but  we  would  not  willingly  exchange  duty  in  the  Chippewa 
Sub-District  for  any  other  location  in  the  country."  "^  A  Vermont 
blizzard  marooned  one  chaplain  in  a  remote  camp.  With  miles  of  road  to 
be  cleared  before  any  vehicle  could  travel,  he  continued  his  rounds  on 
snow  shoes.  Such  conditions  eventually  brought  casualties.  Isaac  F. 
Jones,  injured  in  a  motor  accident  while  touring  his  camps,  died  on  21 
December  1936.  John  Marvin  Dean  died  in  November  1935  while  on 
duty  in  Virginia  and  was  buried  in  Arlington."* 

Rabbi  Solomon  Jacobson  was  a  contract  clergyman  in  the  Ft.  Sheri- 
dan, Illinois,  CCC  District,  and  a  representative  of  the  Jewish  Welfare 
Board.  He  wrote  about  the  importance  of  religion  in  the  CCC  for  the 
Jewish  enrollee : 

Here  is  a  young  man  entering  into  camp.  It  may  be  the  first  time  that  he 
has  ever  been  away  from  home.  He  harks  back  within  himself  to  his 
family  circle,  to  his  coterie  of  friends,  to  his  accustomed  place  of  worship. 
A  nostalgia  overwhelms  him  for  his  wonted  surroundings.  What  a  relief 
to  him  when  he  uncovers  in  the  camp  a  religious  hour  to  sweep  him  into 
courage  and  a  firm  grip  on  himself !  W' hen  he  meets  someone  to  whom 
he  can  confide  his  heart !  .  .  .  Or  here  is  a  young  man  w'ho  has  been  in 
camp  for  a  number  of  months.  He  has  become  so  thoroughly  established 
in  the  routine  of  camp  life  and  at  the  same  time  he  has  been  so  long 
removed  from  active  participation  in  what  goes  on  outside  of  camp  that 
he  hesitates,  or  fears,  to  think  of  the  day  when  he  will  bid  farewell  to 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

64  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

his  barracks  and  will  have  to  plant  his  stakes  elsewhere.  But  how  often 
has  such  an  enrollee  drunk  deeply  from  the  waters  of  a  religious  service 
...  a  guiding  sentence  .  .  .  and  from  such  a  contact  .  .  .  been  stim- 
ulated with  purpose  and  confidence  reborn  to  enable  him  to  step  out  and 
carve  his  niche. "^ 

Jacobson  suggested  that  work  with  Jewish  personnel  differed  from 
that  with  other  religious  groups  in  at  least  3  ways:  1.  Relatively  small 
numbers,  sometimes  only  one  to  a  camp.  2.  Visiting  periods  did  not 
coincide  with  the  Sunday  time  usually  set  aside,  and  a  weeknight  after 
duty  was  best.  3.  More  reliance  on  small,  informal,  flexible  services, 
religious  instruction  classes,  and  discussion  sessions. ^'^ 

When  the  CCC  program  began  there  was  the  usual  temptation  to  use 
chaplains  as  educational  officers  and  athletic  directors.  Many  taught 
classes  in  everything  from  English  Composition  to  Dramatics;  others 
demonstrated  athletic  ability,  or  lack  of  it,  as  another  way  of  getting 
close  to  the  men.  But  gradually  the  emphasis  \va.s  more  and  more  on  that 
of  the  clergyman  in  uniform.  Additional  duties  were  taken  up  voluntarily 
by  the  talented  and  interested;  but  for  the  most  part,  chaplains  were 
spread  too  thin  to  be  anything  more  than  clergy.  Commanders  seemed 
to  get  the  message  and  chaplain  after  chaplain  commented  in  reports 
or  journals  that  they  received  outstanding  cooperation. 

One  chaplain  said,  "I  have  never  had  better  cooperation  in  any 
church  than  I  have  in  the  C.C.C.  The  officers  cooperate  and  give  me  a 
clear  field.  I  feel  that  I  am  a  minister  of  Jesus  Christ  and  am  treated  as 
such.  This  does  not  mean  I  ignore  the  social  element.  I  develop  this  as 
opportunity  permits."  " 

Brasted  wrote,  "The  chaplain  in  the  C.C.C.  is  just  as  much  a  pastor 
as  when  he  was  engaged  as  the  pastor  of  a  church.  His  interest  is  the  soul 
welfare  of  all  the  persons  belonging  to  the  companies  he  serves,  and  it  is 
good  psychology  and  in  accordance  with  God's  word  and  experience  to 
say  that  probably  the  most  eflPective  work  that  the  chaplain  does  is 
accomplished  through  personal  contacts.  It  is  the  personal  touch  that 
does  most  good."  ^^ 

About  the  personal  touch  one  chaplain  wrote,  "We  do  not  leave 
camp  without  special  permission  from  headquarters.  We  are  expected  to 
visit  work  projects  and,  as  occasion  offers,  take  lunch  with  the  men  at 
side  camps  and  at  work.  It  is  believed  that  such  visits,  if  not  of  a  nature 
to  interrupt  the  workers,  make  for  easier  contacts.  They  certainly  afford 
the  chaplain  opportunity  for  gathering  materials  for  lectures  and  talks. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


No  church  committee  has  ever  suggested  to  me  as  tight  or  rugged  a 
program  as  that  which  we  try  to  follow  as  C.C.C.  chaplains."  ^^ 

One  chaplain  observed,  "While  it  can  not  be  said  that  the  boys  of 
the  C.C.C.  are  irreligious,  a  considerable  percentage  are  not  members  of 
any  church.  In  the  district  I  serve,  about  55  per  cent  of  the  enroUees  are 
not  church  members.  Taking  the  C.C.C.  as  a  cross  section  of  a  large 
segment  of  the  public,  it  becomes  evident  that  the  chaplains  face  a  huge 
task  before  they  as  much  as  bring  America  to  the  feet  of  Christ.  I  fre- 
quently wonder  how  so  many  un-churched  men  could  come  from  our 
over-churched  communities."  *'° 

A  variety  of  approaches  were  used.  Some  wrote.  Chaplain  Alfred  C. 
Oliver,  Jr.,  of  the  Regular  Army,  and  Chaplain  Harold  M.  Dudley,  of  the 
Reserve  Corps,  collaborated  on  editing  This  New  America,  a  book  on  the 
CCC.''^  The  Honorable  Harry  H.  Woodring,  Secretary  of  War,  said  of 
this  work:  "The  editors  of  this  book  have  captured  the  spirit  of  the 
Civilian  Conservation  Corps.  No  one  can  read  this  book  without  voicing 
the  gratitude  of  the  republic  to  the  President  who  so  happily  conceived 
and  so  successfully  carried  out  this  great  undertaking."  '^^ 

Others  lectured.  Intriguing  titles  showed  the  roots  of  the  later 
Character  Guidance  Program.  Some  lectures  were  about  "Foxes,"  how 
little  traits  may  spoil  good  character;  "Spiders,"  a  habit  is  like  a  spider's 
web;  others  were  entitled,  "As  a  Man  Thinketh,"  "America  and  the 
Sword,"  "A  message  to  Garcia,"  "Lincoln,"  "Lincoln's  Religion," 
"Washington  and  His  Rules  of  Conduct,"  "Moral  Laxity,"  "The 
American  Home,"  "Ten  Resolutions  Based  Upon  The  Ten  Command- 
ments," "Preparations  for  Easter,"  and  other  patriotic,  moralistic,  and 
character-building  themes. "^^ 

"Tri  C  Men"  was  a  popular  youth  movement  in  the  camps.  It 
promised  no  organization,  no  pledges,  and  no  dues.  Also  popular  were 
"Sunday  Clubs"  which  tried  to  get  men  to  go  to  church  and  sometimes 
sponsored  attendance  contests  among  the  companies.  The  Holy  Name 
Society  also  flourished  with  its  primary  emphasis  upon  men  cutting  down 
on  profanity.*'^ 

Movies  were  a  popular  form  of  entertainment,  and  important  visual 
aids  in  educational  or  religious  programs.  Many  chaplains  used  the  new 
tools  in  imaginative  ways.  One  used  his  camera  to  take  movies  of  the 
men  at  work  and  play,  then  showed  them  in  a  recreation  hall  just  before 
church ;  it  really  worked  as  an  attendance  builder.  A  chaplain  wrote : 

The  screen  has  been  a  very  great  help  to  me  in  both  the  religious 
and  secular  field.  I  have  a  personal  investment  of  close  to  $400  in  equip- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

66  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

ment  for  visual  instruction.  There  is  a  Victor  Steroptican  and  a  set  of 
181  colored  Bible  slides  which  I  use  quite  regularly  in  the  winter  in 
connection  with  my  religious  work.  I  also  use  song  slides  and  find  that  the 
boys  like  to  sing  from  the  screen.  My  16mm  projector  serves  a  useful 
purpose,  in  addition  to  the  educational  program  of  the  camps,  through 
the  showing  of  educational  films,  most  of  which  are  secured  free  of 
charge ;  it  serves  also  to  increase  the  attendance  at  religious  services  which 
I  hold  after  the  films  are  shown. ''^ 

Under  Brasted's  capable  direction  and  continued  interest,  involve- 
ment of  chaplains  in  the  CCC  grew  until,  by  its  fifth  birthday  on  5  April 
1938,  Reserve  chaplains  provided  almost  five  times  as  many  religious 
services  as  those  conducted  by  Regular  Army  chaplains."*'  The  authorized 
strength  of  Regular  Army  chaplains  was  125,  but  338  Reserve  chaplains 
were  called  to  active  duty  in  1936  to  serve  the  CCC.  (For  those  in- 
terested in  a  statistical  picture  of  services,  etc.,  see  Appendix  B.)  Impor- 
tant work  was  provided  for  2,242,000  men,  about  1,800,00  of  them 
between  17  and  21  years  of  age.  Individuals  remained  in  camp  an  average 
of  9  months."' 

Chaplain  Roy  J.  Honywell  wrote : 

What  this  experience  did  for  them  in  physical  and  mental  develop- 
ment or  in  the  growth  of  character  is  beyond  computation  by  any  human 
system  of  statistics.  What  it  did  for  the  Reserve  chaplains  was  equally 
intangible  but  very  real.  They  learned  how  to  adapt  themselves  to  an 
infinite  variety  of  situations  and  to  carry  on  their  work  without  many  aids 
which  they  would  have  considered  indispensable  in  a  civilian  parish. 
They  came  to  know  a  body  of  young  men  who  were  more  representative 
of  the  youth  of  the  country  than  any  group  in  any  home  church.  These 
factors  may  have  outweighed  even  the  formal  training  program  of  the 
Army  when  they  were  called  to  cope  with  the  perplexing  exigencies  of 

Richard  Braunstein  a  Reserve  chaplain,  first  lieutenant,  wrote  of 
the  CCC  chaplain:  "He  comes  closer  to  the  literal  dictum  of  St.  Paul 
about  being  'all  things  to  all  men'  than  any  particular  Sky  Pilot  you 
might  name.  .  .  He  must  be  helper  to  all  creeds,  colors,  tongues.  He 
meets  those  who  see  eye  to  eye  with  him  and  he  contacts  many  who  fail 
to  see — or  refuse  to  see."  And  obliquely  referring  to  the  pacificist  contro- 
versy surrounding  them  he  added : 

It  is  the  duty  of  the  chaplain  to  take  the  message  to  Garcia.  He  is 
under  orders.  A  little  more  discipline  in  the  ranks  of  the  ministry,  a  little 
more  inclination  to  obey,  a  little  more  consecration  and  hardship  among 
those  who  frown  upon  the  uniform  and  who  condemn  the  Army,  a  little 
more  of  the  x\rmy  background  and  gumption  in  all  branches  of  civilian 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


life  and  the  kingdom  of  God  would  be  nearer  to  our  thought  and  liv- 
ing. .  .  'A  soldier  is  more  than  a  man  who  carries  a  gun.'  .  .  .  Milton  said, 
"Peace  hath  her  victories  no  less  renowned  than  war."  The  C.C.C.  is  the 
Peace  Army.*'^ 

No  experience  of  the  Army  chaplaincy  could  be  looked  on  with 
more  satisfaction  than  its  service  to  the  Civilian  Conservation  Corps. 

Perhaps  Ahlstrom  best  caught  the  mood  of  the  times  when  he  wTOte, 
"Yet  amid  the  fallen  idols  a  many  sided  revival  of  the  spirit  also  occurred. 
Realizing  that  the  whole  country  was  in  trouble,  Americans  gained  a  new 
kind  of  national  self-awareness.  Mutual  distress  drew  people  together."  '° 
As  people  rediscovered  each  other  many  Americans  found  a  new  sense 
of  solidarity  and  purpose ;  laborers,  farmers,  small  business  men,  the  aged, 
and  many  others  banded  together.  This  sense  of  urgency  took  on  religious 

The  men  who  participated  in  CCC,  and  received  the  chaplains' 
ministry  were  also  caught  up  in  this  spirit,  revealed  in  such  comments  as 
the  following: 

"It  slowly  dawned  upon  me  as  to  the  full  significance  of  my  part  in 
the  reforestation  program,"  wrote  Ray  Johnston  at  Camp  P-56  Durbin, 
West  Virginia.  "I  was  actually  acting  in  the  capacity  of  'keeper,' — 
pledged  to  protect  those  trees  from  the  dangers  instigated  by  my  thought- 
less fellow  man.  I  was  overwhelmed  by  the  mere  thought  of  being  a 
benefactor  and  yet  that  is  exacdy  what  I  was.  I  was  doing  my  humble 
part  in  a  gigantic  program  to  restore  to  our  great  continent  that  which 
God  gave  us  but  which  a  too  enterprising  man  had  taken.  I  was  helping 
to  make  it  possible,  through  the  building  of  passable  roads,  for  that  man 
to  see  the  greatness  of  God's  handiwork  with  the  hope  that  he  might  see 
how  small  and  ordinary  he  was  beside  it.  .  .  .  Yes,  I  was  truly  a 
benefactor."  ^^ 

Joseph  Paul  Jurasek  wrote  from  Coram  Montana,  "The  Army  disci- 
pline is  something  wonderful  also.  Many  slow  careless,  easy-going  boys 
have  been  taught  to  handle  matters  with  surprising  efficiency.  When  they 
return  home  there  will  no  longer  be  scattered  caps,  muddy  tracks  on  the 
floor  or  newspapers  on  the  rug  for  their  mothers  to  worry  about."  '" 

One  New  Yorker  broadened  his  perspective.  William  T.  Miraglia 
observed  from  Nacher,  Washington,  "In  being  sent  out  West,  I  outgrew 
the  narrow  idea  that  New^  York  was  the  center  of  the  universe.  I  learned 
that  as  far  as  the  United  States  of  America  is  concerned,  there  is  but  one 
people,  whose  sufTerings,  toils,  and  happiness  are  strangely  akin."  '^ 

"I'm  not  a  great  flag  waver  .  .  ."  said  James  A.  McMillen,  at  Camp 
Morgan,  Malta,  Ohio,  "but  when  a  government  has  treated  you  right. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

68  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

you  hate  to  see  a  lot  of  discouraged  people  sitting  around  believing  that 
the  old  Ship  of  State  is  scuttled.  .  .  .  To  have  a  proper  respect  for  the 
government,  a  man  must  be  a  part  of  it.  A  jobless  man  is  seldom  a 
patriot."  '* 

Harold  H.  Buckles  wrote  from  Wyoming,  "I  was  pretty  low.  It  had 
been  two  years  since  I  had  a  real  job;  I  had  thirty  five  cents,  a  brave  and 
charming  wife,  and  two  pretty  sweet  little  boys;  and  everything  I  had 
touched  in  two  years  had  phooeyed  out.  The  C.C.C.  was  ...  a  last 
hope.  ...  I  shall  hate  to  leave  the  boys  who  taught  me  that  Christ  was 
not  all  wrong  about  the  human  race."  '" 

Problems  of  the  CCC  and  Its  Demise 

Being  one  of  the  many  new  departures  of  Roosevelt's  first  100  days, 
the  CCC  drew  criticism.  William  Green  of  the  AFL  said  the  CCC 
smacked  "of  fascism,  of  Hitlerism  of  a  form  of  Sovietism."  '^  Pacifists 
were  bothered  by  it.  When  CCC  boys  were  used  to  clean  up  Camp  Pike, 
Arkansas,  it  was  seen  as  "war  preparation  that  may  indicate  the  inten- 
tion of  the  United  States  to  rush  headlong  into  what  they  consider  the 
impending  conflict  in  Europe."  "  The  Army  opposed  continued  partici- 
pation in  the  CCC  because  it  diverted  attention,  money,  training  and 
personnel  from  its  primary  mission.  General  McArthur  asked  that  the 
responsibility  be  taken  over  by  reserve  officers.  Tliere  was  also  a  morale 
problem  in  the  ranks  because  the  CCC  boys  were  paid  more  than  Army 

A  very  large  flaw  was  the  virtual  exclusion  of  minorities  from  the 
CCC  program.  The  act  of  31  March,  1933  which  gave  the  CCC  legal 
existence,  contained  this  clause:  "That  in  employing  citizens  for  the 
purpose  of  this  Act,  no  discrimination  shall  be  made  on  account  of  race, 
color,  and  creed."  The  intention  was  clearly  to  protect  the  rights  of  blacks 
to  join  the  CCC  organization,  but  the  clause  did  not  insure  them  full 
benefits  from  the  newly  created  agency. '^ 

Black  unemployment  rates  were  double  the  national  average  in 
1933.  Georgia's  director  of  the  CCC,  John  de  la  Perriere  declared  that, 
".  .  .  there  are  few  negro  families  .  .  .  who  need  an  income  as  great  as  $25 
a  month  in  cash."  John  C.  Huskinson  of  Florida  reported,  "on  the  basis 
of  merit  no  negroes  have  yet  been  selected  for  the  CCC."  ^°  The  Army 
was  segregated,  and  in  taking  over  the  CCC  old  patterns  and  myths 
prevailed.  Many  communities  were  afraid  of  large  numbers  of  black 
males  being  stationed  outside  the  town.  Sexual  fears  for  their  wives  and 
daughters,  and  charges  of  intoxication,  peppered  the  letters  of  protest 
received  by  the  director.^'  In  some  cases,  to  ease  racial  tension,  CCC 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


camps  were  moved  into  local  Armiy  installations.  Of  the  2,500,000  men 
who  served  in  the  CCC  before  it  went  out  of  existence,  200,000  were 

Chaplains  commented  on  reports  and  in  articles  that  there  were 
peculiar  differences  in  ministering  to  black  enrollees;  their  music  and 
worship  practices  were  uniquely  their  own,  and  remedial  education 
courses  received  greater  attention.  Chaplains  also  spoke  up  for  blacks  in 
the  CCC  in  a  public  relations  way,  as  being  trustworthy  members  of 
society,  and  that  the  nearby  white  communities  had  nothing  to  fear  from 
them.  But  black  consciousness,  integration,  social  protest  and  action,  was 
not  a  part  of  the  record,  nor  would  it*be  for  more  than  two  decades  to 

Millions  of  trees  were  planted.  Millions  of  men  found  work.  An 
economy  started  to  recover.  The  chaplaincy  received  invaluable  training 
and  gave  immeasurable  service.  On  5  June  1942,  the  House  voted  against 
funding  the  CCC  program  further,  and  authorized  $500,000  for  its  liqui- 
dation. On  26  June  the  Senate  confirmed  the  House  action  and  the 
program  was  no  more.  The  economic  crisis  that  created  the  CCC  was 
over,  employment  was  full,  and  the  nation  needed  its  manpower  for  war 
rather  than  conser\^ation.  The  CCC  was  no  longer  needed. 

Natural  Disasters 

Among  the  most  unpleasant  aspects  of  the  mid-1930's  was  the 
weather.  During  this  period  the  Mississippi,  Ohio,  Potomac,  Tennessee, 
Delaware,  Connecticut,  Missouri,  Susquehanna,  Columbia,  Allegheny, 
and  Merrimack  Rivers  flooded  cities  and  towns.  The  Ohio  River  flood  of 
1937  was  the  worst  in  the  nation's  history;  it  destroyed  the  homes  of  a 
half-million  people.  Floods  and  windstorms  claimed  the  lives  of  3,678 
persons.  Winters  were  uncommonly  bitter;  Kansas,  in  the  summer  of 
1936,  recorded  almost  sixty  days  of  100  degree  heat.  Prolonged  drought 
and  high  winds  combined  to  remove  the  topsoil  of  much  of  the  Middle 
West  in  what  were  called  "black  blizzards."  *^  In  1938  the  most  destruc- 
tive hurricane  in  American  history  struck  New  England  and  Long  Island, 
the  first  since  23  September  1815.  The  American  Red  Cross  reported  700 
killed,  1,754  injured,  and  63,000  who  lost  their  homes.  President  Roose- 
velt sent  100,000  men  from  the  Army,  Coast  Guard,  and  the  WPA,  to 
aid  the  victims.^* 

Because  the  Army  responded  to  these  disasters,  so  did  their  chaplains. 
As  a  result  of  the  Ohio  River  flood  some  1,200  refugees  were  concentrated 
at  Fort  Knox,  Kentucky.  Chaplains  Elder  and  Wennermark  ministered 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  6 

70  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

to  them  with  religious  services  and  all  manner  of  welfare  work.  The  Fort 
Knox  Chaplain's  Auxiliary  rendered  outstanding  service  under  the  lead- 
ership of  Mrs.  Daniel  Van  Voorhis.  Chaplain  A.  F.  Vaughn,  Barksdale 
Field,  Louisiana,  raised  about  a  thousand  dollars  for  flood  relief. 

At  Jefferson  Barracks,  Missouri,  a  concentration  point  for  trucks  and 
truck  drivers,  Chaplain  W.  B.  Zimmerman  devoted  a  great  deal  of  time 
arranging  entertainment  for  these  men.  The  Army  Chaplain  reported  that 
F.  R.  Arnold,  a  Reservist  from  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  "conducted  many 
hundreds  of  interviews  with  individuals  who  were  heartbroken  over  what 
had  happened  to  them,  persons  facing  rehabilitation  with  all  their  belong- 
ings destroyed.  More  than  2,000  refugees  were  brought  to  the  building 
where  Chaplain  Arnold  had  his  headquarters.  Many  refugees  had  fled 
from  their  homes  with  nothing  more  than  they  wore."  ®^ 

Chaplain  H.  G.  Vorsheim  Jr.,  Portsmouth,  Ohio,  was  pastor  of  one 
of  the  city's  congregations  whose  church  buildings  remained  above  water. 
The  congregation  and  its  neighbors  volunteered  their  services  and  fed  and 
cared  for  the  refugees  as  they  came  out  of  the  water.  Meals  were  served 
the  first  day  of  the  flood,  Vorsheim  ordered  supplies  to  feed  200  for  two 
days  and  drove  through  water  to  purchase  450  pounds  of  meat  to  feed 
them,  but  the  200  increased  to  400  while  he  was  gone.  Clothing  was  also 
provided,  and  religious  services  were  held  daily  in  the  Central  Presby- 
terian Church  throughout  the  flood  period  of  two  weeks. ^^ 

Chaplain  C.  Q.  Jones,  Army  Reserve,  on  duty  with  the  CCC  reported 
for  flood  duty  at  Maysville,  Kentucky,  and  was  given  the  task  of  super- 
vising Military  Police.  Jones  got  the  evacuation  traffic  straightened  out, 
set  up  security,  and  then  rode  with  rescue  boats  for  several  days.^^ 

Chaplain  D.  R.  Covell,  National  Guard,  organized  the  relief  work  of 
almost  eighty  Episcopal  congregations  scattered  through  southern  Ohio. 
Working  days  and  many  nights  over  a  period  of  seventeen  days,  Covell 
wrote,  "In  times  of  emergency,  as  well  as  many  other  times,  may  I  a 
member  of  the  cloth  say  that,  'there  is  nothing  like  the  Army.'  "  A.  L. 
McKnight,  a  Reserve  chaplain  of  Louisville,  Kentucky,  organized  the 
students  of  Louisville  Baptist  Theological  Seminary  for  rescue  work.  They 
helped  rescue,  innoculate  and  house  more  than  6,000  people.  McKnight 
said  "If  it  had  not  been  for  my  training  received  in  the  chaplaincy,  I  would 
not  have  directed  this  work  as  I  did.  By  this  work  I  feel  that  there  has  been 
created  a  greater  appreciation  among  the  Faculty  and  Students  ...  for 
the  chaplaincy."  ^* 

Chaplain  G.  F.  Hyde  rendered  a  detailed  report  covering  two  weeks 
of  service  at  Wynee,  Arkansas;  where  he  served  a  refugee  camp  of  2,500, 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


and  at  Harrisburg  a  refugee  camp  and  hospital  of  500,  along  with  the 
base  hospital  at  Vaundale,  with  some  80  patients.  It  was  his  sad  lot  to 
conduct  many  funerals  of  persons  who  lost  their  lives  in  this  disaster.^^ 

Chaplain  Thomas  P.  Bermingham,  with  the  CCC,  ministered  at 
Cairo,  Illinois,  securing  a  vast  amount  of  supplies  for  sufferers  and  render- 
ing innumerable  other  services.  A  report  said,  "He  was  going  both  days 
and  nights."  ''°  On  14  February  he  celebrated  a  Thanksgiving  Mass  at 
St.  Joseph's  Church  "All  available  space  in  the  church  was  occupied." 
The  report  continued,  "Chaplain  M.  M.  D.  Perdue,  Reserve,  at  Owens- 
boro,  Kentucky,  with  the  aid  of  assistants  in  his  church  collected  and  dis- 
tributed hundreds  of  articles  in  the  way  of  clothing  to  colored  refugees, 
and  assisted  families  in  evacuating  their  homes,  collected  and  distributed 
money  to  refugees,  ministered  to  the  sick  in  hospitals,  etc." 

Chaplain  Perdue  said  that,  "The  greatest  return  was  to  note  that  in 
the  presence  of  alarm,  when  human  agencies  were  of  no  avail,  that  men 
gained  a  new-  respect  for  the  majesty  and  power  of  God,  as  compared  \vith 
human  frailty.  Though  a  major  disaster,  as  we  think  of  things  material, 
the  flood  was  a  veritable  spiritual  blessing."  ^^ 

A  disaster  of  another  sort  was  mentioned  by  Honeywell,  "One  chap- 
lain spent  a  month  wifh  1,800  men  on  an  island  in  Lake  Superior  fighting 
a  stubborn  forest  fire.  His  message  was  doubly  welcome  amid  the  clouds 
of  smoke."  '' 


Throughout  this  period  successive  Chiefs  of  Chaplains  were  aware 
of  the  need  for  chapels,  and  attempted  to  gain  funds  for  them.  Money 
was  tight,  and  the  Chief's  Annual  Report  of  1932  pointed  out  that 
troop  housing  and  hospitals  had  priority  over  chapel  building;  he  urged 
chaplains  to  be  innovative  in  providing  places  of  worship,  and  using 
whatever  buildings  could  be  scrounged  and  converted.  Unfortunately, 
at  the  same  time  that  one  Chief  tried  to  move  the  keepers  of  the  purse  to 
provide  building  funds,  chapels  at  Schofield  Barracks,  Hawaii,  and  Fort 
Sheridan,  Illinois,  which  w^re  destroyed  by  fire  in   1931.°^ 

During  the  1930's  several  chapels  were  built  from  WPA  funds. 
Though  legislation  precluded  use  of  WPA  funds  for  national  defense, 
Harry  Hopkins,  Administrator  of  the  WPA,  asked  military  leaders  for 
their  recommendations  on  urgently  needed  construction;  based  on  the 
rationale  of  providing  work  for  the  unemployed,  runways,  barracks, 
and  other  buildings,  including  a  few  service  clubs  and  chapels,  were 
constructed.  Nine  chapels  were  under  construction  in   1934-35.  The 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

72  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

chapel  at  Randolph  Field,  Texas,  was  dedicated  on  2  September  1934, 
in  a  ceremony  conducted  by  Post  Chaplain  George  McMurray.®*  The 
Langley  Field  Chapel  was  dedicated  16  June  1935,  while  Ralph  W. 
Rogers  was  Post  Chaplain.  Of  Tudor  Gothic  design,  it  was  built  at  a 
cost  of  $110,000  including  the  organ.  Chaplain  Brasted  in  his  address 
said :  "The  success  of  a  chaplain  depends  in  no  small  measure  upon  hav- 
ing a  plant  altogether  adequate  for  the  promotion  of  his  entire  character 
building  program.  These  fully  appointed  and  most  beautiful  houses  of 
worship  which  have  been  recently  built  and  dedicated  are  a  contribution 
of  inestimable  value  to  our  moral  and  religious  work,"  ^^ 

When  Arnold  became  Chief,  he  arranged  for  coordination  of  chapel 
plans  so  they  would  have  the  written  approval  of  his  office  before  being 
released  to  contractors.  He  wrote  Chaplain  Griffin  in  August  1938,  "We 
have  already  headed  off  some  monstrosities."  ^'^ 

The  April  1935  issue  of  The  Army  Chaplain,  featured  a  cover  story 
on  the  construction  of  new  chapels  at  Fort  Bragg,  N.C.;  Langley  Field, 
Va.;  Randolph  Field,  Texas;  Fort  Sill,  Okla.;  Presidio,  San  Francisco; 
Fort  Benning,  Ga.;  Fort  Myer,  Va.  and  Fort  Lewis,  Washington.'" 

In  most  places  chaplains  had  to  "make  do"  with  recreation  and  mess 
halls,  hangars,  and  whatever  could  be  scrounged.  Chaplain  Frank  L. 
Miller  was  instrumental  in  transforming  a  building  into  a  chapel  at  Luke 
Field,  Hawaii.  Ernest  W.  Wood  did  the  same  with  a  school  room  at 
Mitchell  Field.  The  ladies  of  the  post  made  curtains  from  parachutes. 
Charles  F.  Graeser  showed  his  ingenuity  and  sense  of  humor,  when  he 
wrote  to  Yates  in  1930: 

Prior  to  being  turned  over  to  me,  this  building  was  used  as  a  shop 
in  which  a  paint  material  known  as  "dope"  was  spread  on  the  airplane 
wings,  and  hence  was  known  in  the  vernacular  of  the  Post  as  the  Dope 
Shop.  Far  be  it  from  me  to  maintain  that  it  might  not  properly  be  called 
that  even  yet,  despite  the  fact  that  I  have  the  Post  Chapel  sign  on  the 
front.  .  .  .  The  surrounding  buildings  are  various  structures  in  disarray, 
and  all  stages  of  disrepair.  .  .  .  This  together  with  the  fact  that  we  are 
located  extremely  far  from  quarters  and  barracks,  does  not  work  to  religi- 
ous advantage. 

Yet  in  these  surroundings  Graeser  built  up  a  flourishing  Sunday 
School  and  a  worship  service  with  an  attendance  of  300."^ 

Institutional  Developments  and  Setbacks 

The  1920's  saw  the  chaplaincy  get  organized.  The  1930's  were 
marked  by  the  institution  reacting  to  outside  events.  The  Depression, 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


the  lack  of  funds,  pacifism,  the  creation  of  the  CCC,  the  responses  to 
natural  disaster,  and  the  growing  signs  of  war  in  Europe,  were  not  pro- 
grammed. They  occurred  outside  the  scope  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains 
Office.  The  institutional  picture  was  not  an  orderly  growth  toward  pro- 
grammed goals.  They  were  setbacks  and  defeats. 

The  Chaplain  School  closed  for  lack  of  students.  Existing  in  name 
only,  the  school  continued  to  mail  out  extension  courses,  but  did  no  resi- 
dent training.  The  status  of  chaplains'  assistants  continued  to  be  a  hit 
and  miss  process  of  "body  snatching."  Precious  little  help  in  the  way  of 
training  manuals,  directives,  and  supplies  ever  reached  the  chaplain  in 
the  field.  In  1933  several  chaplains  recommended  the  hymnal  be  revised 
to  include  "more  songs  appropriate  for  Sunday  School  ..."  but  this 
project  was  not  completed  until  World  War  IL""  In  spite  of  the  regu- 
lation stating  that  commanders  were  responsible  for  religious  services 
of  their  commands,  Jorgensen  wrote:  "Wright  as  late  as  1938  was  able 
to  say  that  he  had  been  in  the  service  over  20  years  and  had  never 
preached  in  a  chapel."  Congress  wouldn't  appropriate  funds  for  chapels, 
and  chaplains  were  not  allowed  to  solicit  funds  without  War  Depart- 
ment approval.  By  1939  only  17  permanent  chapels  had  been  built  at 
Army  posts  in  the  history  of  our  country.^"" 

Religious  coverage  was  a  serious  problem.  Many  posts  did  not  have 
the  service  of  a  chaplain,  practically  none  had  both  Protestant  and 
Catholic  coverage,  much  less  Jewish  chaplains.""  Although  the  ratio  of 
one  chaplain  to  1,200  officers  and  men  looked  good  on  paper.  Chaplain 
Silas  E.  Decker's  experience  was  typical  in  that  he  served  a  total  per- 
sonnel of  3,700  including  dependents  at  Langley  Field  in  1938.^"' 
Chaplain  supervision  of  those  in  their  profession  did  not  carry  much 
weight.  In  1936  regulations  forbade  chaplains  from  evaluating  other 
chaplains  on  Officer  Efficiency  Reports.  Fears  of  sectarian  prejudice  still 
hampered  even  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  from  doing  more  than  giving 
advice.  Supervision  was  approached  cautiously. 

When  arrangements  for  providing  religious  coverage  were  made  it 
was  handled  on  a  local  level.  It  depended  too  much  on  the  personalities 
of  the  local  chaplains.  A  Catholic  chaplain  and  a  Protestant  chaplain 
assigned  to  posts  nearby  one  another  might  swap  "services."  In  1934  the 
Chief  of  Chaplains  wrote  Claude  S.  Harkey,  at  Brooks  Field,  suggesting 
a  coverage  plan,  but  the  wording  could  hardly  be  called  forceful  or 
directive  in  nature: 

Possibly  we  wrote  you,  unofficially  of  course,  suggesting  the  possi- 
bility of  taking  some  responsibility  for  Protestant  work  at  Kelly  Field 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

74  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

and  Chaplain  Martin  at  Kelly  in  turn  assisting  in  the  Catholic  work  at 

Of  course,  we  in  this  office  have  nothing  to  say  about  administration 
in  the  different  posts.   ... 

A  conference  between  Martin  and  Harkey  under  the  supervision  of 
the  Corps  Area  senior  chaplain  resulted  in  no  coverage.  During  a  period 
of  illness  for  Harkey,  a  Staff  Sergeant  Blair  conducted  services  at  Brooks."^ 

The  Chiefs  had  their  hands  full  warding  off  attacks,  and  hanging 
on  to  what  had  been  gained.  While  the  number  of  chaplains  on  active 
duty  increased,  and  a  competent  ministry  was  given,  no  great  strides 
forward  occurred  in  the  institutional  life  of  the  chaplaincy.  There  were 
no  new  plans  for  mobilization  beyond  those  of  the  twenties;  and  a 
test  of  that  limited  objective,  a  goal  of  1,870  chaplains,  failed.  The 
thirties  atmosphere  on  most  Army  posts  was  somnolent.  A  false  sense  of 
security,  provided  by  two  oceans,  lulled  the  country  and  its  military 

The  Chiefs  of  Chaplains 

Julian  E.  Yates  became  Chief  of  Chaplains  in  1929  and  served  until 
1933.  Alva  J.  Brasted  was  Chief  from  1933-1937,  and  William  R.  Arnold 
from  1937-1945. 

Chaplain  Yates  was  born  at  Williams  Mills,  North  Carolina,  23 
October  1871.  He  graduated  from  Wake  Forest  College,  North  Caro- 
lina, with  an  A.B.  degree,  then  an  A.M.  degree;  he  earned  a  Th.B.  degree 
from  the  University  of  Chicago.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Baptist  Church 

Appointed  a  chaplain,  in  the  grade  of  captain,  on  13  March  1902, 
he  was  first  assigned  to  Fort  Leavenworth  with  an  artillery  unit.  In 
May  of  the  same  year,  he  sailed  for  the  Philippines  and  was  assigned 
to  Passay  Garrison,  Manila,  with  the  14th  and  15th  batteries,  Field 
Artillery.  He  returned  to  the  United  States  in  December  1904  and  was 
assigned  to  Fort  Terry,  New  York.  In  1907,  he  was  transferred  to  Fort 
McHenry,  Maryland.  There  he  served  as  librarian  and  conducted  schools 
for  enlisted  men  in  addition  to  his  pastoral  responsibilities,  a  common 
practice  during  that  period.  He  next  served  a  brief  tour  at  Fort  Howard, 
Maryland,  and  then  at  Fort  Hancock,  New  Jersey.  He  served  at  Fort 
Washington,  Maryland  and  Fort  Adams,  Rhode  Island.  In  August  1917 
he  sailed  for  France,  again  with  artilley,  and  stayed  until  1919. 

Upon  his  return  from  overseas  he  served  at  Camps  Stuart  and  Eustis, 
Virginia.  On  8  May  1919  he  was  promoted  to  major,  temporary,  and 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


on  27  October  was  ordered  to  duty  in  the  War  Plans  Division,  War 
Department,  as  Assistant  to  Officer  in  Charge  of  Moral  Training. 

In  this  period  "temporary"  meant  temporary,  and  on  13  March 
1920  he  reverted  to  his  regular  rank  of  captain;  he  was  promoted  to 
major  again  in  June  of  the  same  year.  In  October  1920  he  was  ordered 
to  duty  in  the  office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains;  he  served  there  a  little 
over  one  year,  then  became  post  chaplain  at  Fort  Myer,  Virginia.  He 
was  promoted  to  lieutenant  colonel  and  detailed  to  the  Chief's  office  as 
executive  officer.  From  there  he  went  to  Fort  Oglethorpe,  Georgia,  as 
post  and  regimental  chaplain,  .6th  U.S.  Cavalry.  On  23  December  1929, 
he  was  appointed  Chief  of  Chaplains,  with  the  grade  of  colonel."* 

During  his  incumbency  as  Chief,  the  Annual  Report  noted  that  the 
reserve  section  was  "steadily  increased  and  greatly  improved  in  espirit  de 
corps."  The  Mihtary  Chaplains'  Association  began,  and  a  periodical. 
The  Army  Chaplain,  appeared.  Training  was  revised  to  include  post- 
graduate study  at  the  University  of  Chicago  or  at  the  Catholic  Univer- 
sity of  America.  The  Army  and  Navy  Hymnal  came  into  being  as  a  result 
of  his  efforts  while  on  duty  with  the  War  Plans  Division.""  In  1931, 
the  Annual  Report  revealed  that  correspondence  and  paper  work 
increased  considerably  as  a  closer  relationship  with  the  denominations 
developed.  It  was  reported  that  due  to  the  pacifist  controversy  "religious 
leaders  look  to  the  Chief  ...  for  official  information  and  explanation  .  .  .," 
which  increased  the  mail  to  "approximately  507,696  pieces  per 
annum."  ''' 

On  23  December  1933,  Chaplain  Alva  J.  Brasted  became  the  fourth 
Chief  of  Chaplains,  the  second  Baptist  to  hold  the  office.  He  was  born 
at  Findley's  Lake,  New  York,  on  5  July  1876.  He  graduated  from  Des 
Moines  College  in  1902,  and  from  the  University  of  Chicago  Theological 
School  in  1905.  He  was  appointed  a  chaplain,  first  lieutenant,  in  the  Reg- 
ular Army  in  1913  and  assigned  to  the  Coast  Artillery,  Fort  Hancock, 
New  Jersey.  In  1914  and  1915  he  served  at  Fort  Screven,  Georgia. 
From  19 16 until  1919  he  was  regimental  chaplain  with  the  8th  U.S.  Infan- 
try in  the  Philippines  and  in  the  AEF.  After  the  World  War,  Chaplain 
Brasted  served  at  Camp  Lee,  Virginia,  Fort  Sam  Houston,  Texas,  and 
then  returned  to  the  Philippines  as  hospital  chaplain  at  Sternberg  Gen- 
eral Hospital.  Back  in  the  United  States  he  served  at  Fort  Logan,  Colo- 
rado, and  Fort  Snelling,  Minnesota. 

He  was  faced  with  the  task  of  providing  ministry  to  the  newly 
organized  CCC  and  traveled  extensively  visiting  Army  posts  and  CCC 
camps.  A  noted  lecturer,  he  continued  the  emphasis  upon  moral  talks  to 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

76  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

the  men.  After  evening  talks  he  was  delighted  to  autograph  the  Bibles 
and  New  Testaments  the  men  brought.^*''  Under  his  capable  direction 
the  number  of  chaplains  on  active  duty  nearly  tripled. 

The  Chief's  Annual  Report  of  1934  revealed  200  reserve  chaplains 
in  forestry  camps.  There  were  three  black  chaplains  on  active  duty,  1,200 
Reserves;  the  average  age  of  active  duty  chaplains  was  49  and,  "The 
corps  is  presumed  to  be  in  rigorous  health.  Only  four  of  its  numbers 
failed  to  meet  the  physical  requirements  of  the  medical  examinining 
board  during  the  year."  The  length  of  the  tour  for  foreign  service  was 
cut  from  three  to  two  years,  which  the  Chief  pronounced  "very  salutary." 
53,844  Army  &  Navy  Hymnals  were  distributed  to  the  CCC  along  with 
40,000  Testaments  and  250  Bibles  from  the  American  Bible  Society.  The 
Chaplains'  Aid  Association  sent  one  Douay  Version  to  the  library  of  each 

Under  the  heading,  "Morale  of  Chaplains,"  The  Army  and  Navy 
Register  quoted  him  as  saying,  "Morale  is  exceedingly  high.  .  .  .  The 
chaplains  are  hardworking,  contented,  and  happy  and  not  easily  stam- 
peded by  salary  cuts,  cessation  of  promotion,  and  rumors  of  elimination. 
These  adverse  situations  and  menaces,  however,  cannot  fail  to  work  as  a 
great  detriment  to  morale  should  they  persist."  "® 

Chaplain  Brasted  was  a  delightful  man  who  took  many  things  seri- 
ously, but  never  himself.  He  once  visited  the  Chief's  Office  and  picked 
out  an  assignment  that  was  considered  the  worst  on  the  list.  He  accepted 
is  as  a  challenge;  others,  hearing  about  it,  thought  he  had  been  punished 
and  wondered  what  he  had  done  wrong. '^^  Soldiers  felt  free  to  bring  their 
problems  to  him.  One  complained  of  sore  feet,  and  Brasted's  wife  wrote, 
"So  Alva  went  with  him  to  supply  to  get  a  better-fitting  pair  of  shoes." 

He  brought  the  only  tuxedo  he  had  ever  owned  while  Chief  of 
Chaplains  as  he  was  expected  to  wear  it  to  White  House  functions.  The 
Chief's  office  was  in  the  Munitions  Building  on  Constitution  Avenue,  and 
his  wife  said  he  went  off  to  work  with  the  eagerness  of  a  boy  going 
out  to  play.  He  retired,  came  out  of  retirement  to  serve  on  active  duty 
during  World  War  H,  and  retired  a  second  time  on  30  September  1943. 
His  life  is  the  subject  of  a  biography  entitled.  Soldier  of  God,  written  by 
his  wife  Evelyn.^" 

Chaplain  William  R.  Arnold  succeeded  Brasted  as  Chief  of  Chap- 
lains in  December  1937.  Because  his  career  as  Chief  of  Chaplains  spanned 
nearly  all  of  World  War  H  he  will  be  discussed  at  length  in  the  next 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Activities  of  Chaplains 

Some  historians  ha\'e  pointed  out  that  history  is  not  only  events,  but 
people.  Amid  the  economic,  political,  and  ideological  forces  that  shaped 
the  nation,  the  Army,  and  the  chaplaincy ;  individual  chaplains  went  on 
doing  their  day  to  day  ministr}^  throughout  this  period. 

Chaplain  (LTC)  Edward  L.  Branham  at  Fort  Sill  was  made,  not  a 
chief  but  an  Indian.  Mike  Bigcow  an  elder  of  the  Comanche  Tribe, 
presented  Branham  with  an  Indian  headdress,  which  signified  acceptance 
into  the  tribe.  Branham  was  also  christened  "Swave-Ex-Sap-a-Na," 
(Soldier  of  the  Cross.)  The  unusual  ceremony  was  held  29  October 
1936,  and  honored  Branham  for  his  work  with  the  Indians.  Native  dances 
and  songs  were  presented  by  very  small  Comanche  Indian  students  of 
the  Fort  Sill  Boarding  School.  Elder  Bigcow  then  addressed  sixty  mem- 
bers of  the  Kiwanis  Club,  with  Robert  Coffey  translating: 

People  it  makes  me  glad  to  see  you  and  causes  a  feeling  of  friend- 
ship in  my  heart  when  I  meet  you  as  brothers.  .  .  .  Our  forefathers  have 
taught  us  to  be  brave,  honest,  and  truthful.  With  the  guidance  of  such 
men  as  Colonel  Branham  the  Indians  have  seen  the  light  of  hope. 

Branham  responded  that  he  had  enjoyed  his  five  years  of  work  with 
these  "100  percent  Americans"  and  expressed  pleasure  about  his  induc- 
tion into  the  tribe."" 

While  supervision  was  not  strong,  that  was  interpreted  by  some  as  a 
good  thing,  in  that  it  gave  individuals  more  freedom  to  express  their  own 
creative  ministries.  Those  ministries  were  taking  new  forms.  Chaplain 
Ivan  L.  Bennet  of  Fort  Monroe,  Virginia,  started  a  garrison  church.  A 
group  organized,  took  in  members,  granted  letters  of  transfer  to  other 
churches,  and  were  "organized  on  the  basis  of  a  program  of  activity 
rather  than  upon  a  unity  of  creed."  Annual  Reports  revealed  that  the 
practice  spread  and  was  approved.  Jorgenson  wrote,  "The  reason  that 
this  organization  with  so  much  promise  declined  and  practically  disap- 
peared is  that  there  was  no  centralized  guidance  for  its  implementation 
and  operation.  Also,  chaplains  were  careful  to  avoid  any  organizational 
plan  which  would  even  appear  to  set  up  a  government  church.  Some 
civilian  pastors  denounced  it  as  such.  .  .  ."  "^  Roy  Parker,  at  Fort  Riley, 
Kansas,  sponsored  an  attendance  contest  with  a  local  church  to  see  who 
could  get  the  largest  turnout  for  church.  It  built  attendance  from  100 
to  300.^" 

Some  expanded  their  ministry  through  writing,  or  developed  a  radio 
ministry.  Alva  J.  Brasted,  Fort  Logan,  Colorado,  conducted  broadcasts 
over  station  KFXF  in  Denver.  "Among  especially  interested  radio  fans 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter 

78  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

who  listened  in  were  the  patients  of  Fitzimmons  General  Hospital."  C.C. 
Nelson  was  doing  the  same  thing  at  station  KSL,  Salt  Lake  City,  Utah, 
and  claimed  150,000  listeners;  musical  numbers  were  supplied  by  the 
National  Guard  Band  of  his  regiment."'  writers  included  Lyle  Douglas 
Utts,  who  wrote  a  brochure  "The  Land  of  Counterpane,"  which  was 
described  as  "very  helpful  to  people  in  suffering  and  distress";  Edwin 
Burling  wrote  about  the  activities  of  200  chaplains  who  went  to  summer 
camp  (CMTC)  in  the  early  thirties.  Hal  C.  Head  described  hfe  aboard 
the  Army  transport.  Republic.""  Nathaniel  L.  Jones  wrote  Where  Cross 
the  Crowded  Ways,  a  book  of  sonnets  that  appeared  in  1936."'  R.  Earl 
Boyd  became  the  editor  of  The  Army  Chaplain.^^^  A  number  of  other 
chaplains  edited  regimental  or  post  newspapers  to  increase  their  outreach. 
Henry  N.  Blanchard,  Carlisle  Barracks,  served  as  editor  of  the  post  news- 
paper. Esprit  de  Corps.''''  Some  were  students.  Milton  O.  Beebe,  P.C. 
Schroder,  J.H.  August  Borleis,  and  Hudson  B,  Phillips  were  in  the  gradu- 
ate study  program  at  the  University  of  Chicago.'"" 

Some  chaplains  felt  that  their  best  preaching  was  deeds  rather  than 
words.  They  helped  soldiers  in  many  practical  ways.  Chaplain  A.C. 
Oliver,  Jr.,  arrived  at  his  station  in  Tientsin,  China,  with  ten  mail  bags 
full  of  comfort  kits  for  the  men  of  the  15th  Regiment.  They  were  pro- 
vided by  The  Women's  Christian  Temperance  Union.''' 

Chaplain  E.J,  Griffith  stepped  in  to  help  his  men  in  a  very  practical 
way  at  Fort  Meade,  Maryland.  The  Second  Tank  Regiment  was 
disbanded  and  the  component  parts  transferred  to  other  posts.  Involved 
in  the  transfer  were  thirty-three  enlisted  men,  in  grades  too  low  to  qualify 
for  government  transportation  of  household  goods  or  family  travel  allow- 
ances. With  the  approval  of  the  commander,  Griffin  raised  funds  through 
contributions,  entertainments,  and  appeals  to  charitable  organizations. 
When  the  34th  Infantry  moved  into  the  tank  regiment's  place,  and  the 
lower  grades  were  required  to  rent  quarters  off  post,  Griffin  worked  with 
the  ladies  of  the  post  to  set  up  a  Post  Welfare  Organization,  including  a 
clothing  exchange  for  children.'"  Young  men  went  to  CMTC  in  the 
summer.  Chaplains  accompanied  them  and  found  short  cuts  to  demon- 
strate their  concern.  Chaplain  Burling  wrote,  "one  of  the  chaplains' 
activities  most  appreciated  by  the  young  men  was  the  establishment  of 
banks,  which  provided  not  only  for  the  safe  deposit  of  money,  but  also 
for  the  care  of  other  valuable  personal  articles.  This  depository  was 
generally  located  in  the  chaplain's  office,  where,  also,  stamps  and  sta- 
tionery could  be  procured  and  letters  mailed.  The  advantages  of  such 
arrangements  are  so  obvious  as  to  need  little  comment."  '" 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Some  chaplains  were  travelers,  whether  for  duty  or  for  relaxation 
Chaplain  N.A.  Jones  accompanied  the  31st  Infantry  on  the  "Shanghai 
Emergency."  '"'  Ignatius  Fealey  flew  by  China  Clipper  to  Manila  to 
attend  the  Euchiaristic  Congress  in  February  1936.  N.M.  Ylvisaker  had  a 
forty-five  minute  audience,  his  second  with  the  King  of  Norway.'^'  The 
Army  Chaplain  reported: 

Major  Genera]  William  G.  Everson.  pastor  emeritus  of  the  First 
Baptist  Church,  Muncie,  Indiana,  and  present  Chief  of  the  Militia  Bu- 
reau, seems  to  ha%e  more  than  justified  the  appellation  given  him  by  the 
press  of  the  country  as  "The  Flying  Parson."  Since  assuming  office  four- 
teen months  ago  General  Everson  has  traveled  87,485  miles  or  more  than 
three  times  around  the  earth. ^'^ 

They  held  public  worship.  Church  parade  was  used  in  many  camps. 
The  troops  were  marched  to  church,  often  led  by  mounted  officers.  Old 
photographs  show  that  it  was  a  rather  formal  affair.  In  CMTC  it  was 
required  of  all  trainees  except  those  excused  by  written  request  of 
parents.  Burling  said,  "no  unfavorable  criticism  of  this  formation  has 
come  to  the  War  Department,  and  the  practice  is  fast  being  recognized  as 
the  best  solution  of  the  public  worship  problem  .  .  .  Field  masses  in  the 
open  air,  impressive  services  in  natural  arenas  and  bowls,  crowded  meet- 
ings in  large  halls  \\  ith  addresses  by  prominent  divines  as  well  as  instru- 
mental and  vocal  renditions  by  talented  musicians,  were  reported  from 
every  part  of  the  field."  ^"' 

The  Close  of  a  Decade 

In  1939  the  General  Assembly  of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  USA, 
declared:  "We  hold  that  war  is  a  violation  of  human  personality  and  is 
repugnant  to  the  Christian  conscience,  and  we  repudiate  it  as  a  means  of 
settling  international  disputes  ...  as  Christians  we  pray  for  God's  guid- 
ance in  our  own  thinking  and  for  His  guidance  of  the  constituted  au- 
thorities in  the  United  States  in  order  that  our  nation  be  not  drawn  into 
the  maelstrom  of  foreign  strife."  '^^  The  churches  in  America  still  hoped 
they  could  influence  American  foreign  policy  sufficiently  to  keep  us  out 
of  what  was  called  by  many,  "Mister  Roosevelt's  war."  Careful  reading 
of  history  shows  the  events  leading  to  war  were  out  of  the  church's  hands, 
and  Mr.  Roosevelt's  as  well.  British  and  French  appeasement  failed  to 
satisfy  Hitler's  territorial  demands.  American  unpreparedness  and  public 
opinion  led  Japan,  Germany  and  Italy  to  misread  the  nation's  will  to  fight. 

Events  already  set  in  motion  drew  the  United  States  closer  to  the 
maelstrom.  Munich  sealed  the  fate  of  Czechoslovakia.  Hitler  declared 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

80  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

that  his  ukimate  goal  was:  "die  ganze  Wek"  (the  whole  world) .  On  the 
Maginot  Line  squatted  the  cooped-up  French  Army.  German  civiHans 
called  Hitler's  waiting  game  Sitzkrieg,  "sit-down  war."  '''  Americans 
convinced  themselves  that  the  Japanese  had  their  hands  full  in  China. 
Manchester  commented  that  the  1930's,  which  had  begun  with  a  cry  for 
bread,  ended  with  a  yawn.  There  was  no  great  land  battle  this  time,  nor 
even  a  sizeable  border  skirmish.  It  was  a  time  in  American  history  when 
international  challenges  were  about  to  replace  domestic  problems.  The 
world  held  its  collective  breath  and  waited  for  the  next  move.''" 


The  chaplaincy  not  only  survived  attacks  from  friends  and  foes 
within  and  without  the  military  and  church,  but  continued  to  grow  in 
strength  and  numbers  as  Reserves  were  brought  to  active  duty  with  the 
CCC,  and  for  short  periods  of  emergency  due  to  natural  disasters.  The 
newly  found  professional  standing  and  military  training  of  chaplains 
suffered  some  reverses.  Supervision  was  still  too  cautious.  The  imagina- 
tion, inspiration,  and  hard  work  of  chaplains  in  this  period  gained  and 
held  a  place  of  grudging  respect  within  the  Army.  Annual  Reports  of 
the  Chief  of  Chaplains  showed  that  the  ministers  to  the  military  provided 
regular  opportunities  for  worship  despite  the  lack  of  chapels  already  dis- 
cussed. Their  use  of  audio-visuals,  character  building  lectures,  educational 
opportunities,  better  and  more  professional  expertise  in  counseling 
through  the  incorporation  of  the  insights  of  psychology,  added  to  the 
traditional  pastoral  roles  of  the  past.  Chaplains,  in  professional  magazines 
shared  a  growing  belief  that  they  belonged  in  the  Army,  and  were  not 
just  tolerated. 

Institutionally,  the  largest  failure  of  the  chaplaincy  in  this  period 
was  the  lack  of  contingency  plans  for  selecting,  training,  and  mobilizing 
large  numbers  of  chaplains  in  the  event  of  war.  The  ratio  of  chaplains  to 
officers  and  men  had  been  fixed  by  law.  Apparently  it  was  assumed  that 
as  the  Army  expanded  the  chaplain's  branch  would  simply  activate  the 
Reserves.  Since  there  were  only  125  Regular. Army  chaplains,  and  over 
1,000  in  the  Reserves  that  seemed  a  sufficient  pool  of  talent  from  which 
to  draw.  Of  100,000  clergymen  polled,  only  3,500  answered  that  they 
would  not  serve  as  chaplains.'"  There  had  been  distressing  clues  earlier. 
The  mobilization  plans  of  1925  called  for  a  goal  of  1,870  Regular  Army 
and  reserve  chaplains,  a  goal  which  was  not  achieved.'^"  No  one  was  plan- 
ning for  a  need  of  9,000  chaplains.  (After  all,  the  Air  Corps  was  only 
training  150  pilots  per  year. )  As  a  result  of  this  thinking  only  one  chaplain 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


in  ten  who  served  in  World  War  II  had  been  in  the  Reserves  or  the 
Regular  Army  prior  to  Pearl  Harbor. 

Like  the  rest  of  the  Army,  there  was  a  small,  well  trained,  experi- 
enced group  of  chaplains  who  had  weathered  the  "dog  days"  of  the 
thirties.  They  ministered  in  place  to  millions  of  the  nation's  youth  in  a 
period  that  tried  not  only  the  American  economy,  but  its  character  as  well. 
Jorgensen  wrote,  "By  their  dedicated  efforts  they  shaped  the  chaplaincy 
for  the  greatest  task  it  should  ever  encounter;  World  War  II."  "^ 


^Sydney  E.  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  the  American  People,  (New  Haven:  Yale 
University  Press,  1972),  p.  920. 

^  Lucien  Price,  Religion  of  The  Soldier  and  Sailor,  "Between  Two  Wars,"  Edited  by  Wil- 
lard  L.  Sperry,  Volume  II,  (Cambridge:  Harvard  University  Press,  1945),  p.  35. 

'  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  The  American  People,  p.  925. 

'Ibid.,  p.  926. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  926. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  92.  Also:  Roy  J.  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  The  United  States  Army,  (Washington, 
D.C. :  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  1958) ,  p.  203. 

"  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  The  American  People,  p.  930. 

'Ibid.,  p.  931. 

"William  Manchester,  The  Glory  and  the  Dream,  Volume  1,  (Boston:  Little,  Brown  and 
Company,  1973),  p.  4. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  4-5. 

^^  Daniel  B.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  (Washing- 
ton, D.C. :  Office  of  Air  Force  Chaplains) ,  p.  58. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  58. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  58. 

"  Ministers  and  War,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  II,  No.  2,  October  1931,  p.  2. 

"  Edward  A.  Simon,  The  Influence  of  American  Churches  on  The  Development  of  the 
Structure  and  Duties  of  the  Army  Chaplaincy,  1914-1962,  A  Thesis,  Princeton  Theological 
Seminary,  Princeton,  New  Jersey,  1963,  p.  58. 

^"Minister  Resents  'Slur'  on  Chaplains,  The  New  York  Times,  16  April  1930,  p.  14. 

''Ibid.,  p.  14. 

'^  Simon,  The  Influence  of  American  Churches  on  the  Development  of  the  Structure  and 
Duties  of  the  Army  Chaplaincy,  1914-1962,  p.  58. 

'"  Ibid.,  p.  58. 

^  Jorgenson,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  59. 

^  Simon,  The  Influence  of  American  Churches  on  the  Development  of  the  Structure  and 
Duties  of  the  Army  Chaplaincy,  p.  63-64. 

^^  Explain  Opposition  to  Chaplains,  The  New  York  Times,  20  February  1928,  p.  25. 

"  Jorgenson,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  58. 

^*  Ibid.,  p.  58. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  60. 

^'Ibid.,  p.  60-61. 

"  Simon,  The  Influence  of  American  Churches  on  the  Development  of  the  Structure  and 
Duties  of  the  Army  Chaplaincy,  1914-1946,  p.  61. 

'« Ibid.,  p.  59. 

''Ibid.,  p.  59. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  61. 

^  Manchester,  The  Glory  and  the  Dream,  p.  151. 

82  '  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

''  Ibid.,  p.  245. 

'■•'  The  Army  and  Navy  Journal,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  4,  May  1932,  p.  496. 

"  Ibid. 

^"John  A.  Salmond,  The  Civilian  Conservation  Corps  1933-42;  A  New  Deal  Case  Study, 
(Durham,  N.C.:  University  Press,  1967),  p.  2. 

"^  Ibid.,  p.  3. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  4. 

'^  Ibid.,  p.  8. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  13. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  17-26,  and  42. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  34. 

*'  Ibid.,  p.  45. 

"  E.  R.  Baublitz,  The  C.C.C.  As  An  Agency  For  Character  Development,  The  Army  Chap- 
lain, Vol.  VIII,  No.  1,  July  1937,  p.  10. 

"Alva  J.  Brasted,  Chaplains  and  The  C.C.C,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  1,  July 

1936,  p.  8. 
'^  Ibid. 

""Richard  Braunstien,  The  Circuit  Rider  Returns,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  3, 
January  1937,  p.  6. 

■"'Daniel  B.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  (Washing- 
ton, D.C.:  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains,  1961 ),  p.  52-53. 

''  Ibid.,  p.  53. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  53. 

^°  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  211. 

"  Brasted,  Chaplains  and  the  C.C.C,  p.  8. 

■==  Ibid.,  p.  8. 

'^^  Wilfred  A.  Munday,  All  in  the  Day"s  Duty,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol  VIII,  No.  3,  January 

1937,  p.  7. 

"  HoneyweTl,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  212. 

■*"  Solomon  Jacobson,  Working  With  Jewish  Enrollees,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  IX,  No.  2, 
October  1938,  p.  52. 

"^  Ibid.,  p.  53. 

-'Alva  J.  Brasted,  A  Symposium  on  the  Work  of  the  Chaplain  in  the  CCC,  (Fort  Leaven- 
worth, Kansas:  The  Command  and  General  Staff  School  Press),  p.  23. 

''Ibid.,  p.  4. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  26. 

"'Ibid.,  p.  45. 

'^Alfred  C  Oliver,  Jr.  and  Harold  M.  Dudley,  This  New  America,  (New  York:  Longmans, 
Green  and  Company,  1937). 

""This  New  America,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  3,  January  1937,  p.  10. 

°^  Brasted,  A  Symposium  on  the  Work  of  the  Chaplain  In  the  CCC,  p.  7. 

^'Ibid.,  p.  21-22. 

'^'Ibid.,  p.  32. 

™  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  53. 

"'Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  211-212,  and  Annual  Report,  Chief 
of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  3,  January  1937,  p.  12-13. 

""Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  212. 

""  Braunstien,  The  Circuit  Rider  Returns,  p.  6. 

"  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  the  American  People,  p.  920. 

■^Ovid  Butler,  Youth  Rebuilds  (Washington,  D.C:  The  American  Forestry  Association, 
1934),  p.  63. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  66. 

''Ibid.,  p.   157. 

""Ibid.,  p.   161. 

''Ibid.,  p.   166. 

'"  Manchester,  The  Glory  and  the  Dream,  p.  101. 


'"  Work  at  Camp  Pike  Condemned^,  The  Army  and  Navy  Register,  Vol.  XCVIII,  No.  2885, 
9  November   1935,  p.   383. 

'"  Editorial,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  V,  No.  3,  January  1934,  p.  2 

'"  Salmond,  The  Civilian  Conservation  Corps,  p.  90-91. 

"^Ibid.,  p.  91. 

^Ibid.,  p.  92-93. 

^/fczU,  p.  93-101. 

"-'Ibid.,  p.  216. 

*' Manchester,  The  Glory  and  the  Dream,  p.  151-152,  and  243-247. 

■^Chaplains  on  Duty  Aid  Flood  Victims,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  4,  April 
1937,  p.  5. 

*'"  Authors  note:  I  was  pastor  of  this  church,  Central  Presbyterian,  in  1960;  the  memory 
of  these  events  was  very  much  alive,  and  the  older  members  of  the  congregation  told  of  how 
people  slept  on  pews  for  the  night. 

*'  Chaplains  on  Duty  Aid  Flood  Victims,  p.  5. 

"^Ibid.,  p.  5. 

''"Ibid.,  p.  5. 

"^Jbid.,  p.  4. 

'^Ibid.,  p.  4. 

"^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  211. 

"^Annual  Report  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  3,  January 
1932,  p.  4. 

"' Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  74. 

'^Ibid.,  p.   75. 

'^Ibid.,  p.  75. 

°'New  Post  Chapels,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  V,  No.  4,  April  1935,  p.  1,  3-5. 

"*  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  72-74. 

""Ibid.  p.  75. 

'"^Ibid.  p.  75. 

'°'  Ibid.  p.  64. 

'"'Ibid.  p.  51. 

^°'Ibid.  p.  52. 

'°*  The  Retiring  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  V,  No.  4,  April  1934,  p.  7. 

'<*  Chief  of  Chaplains,  Julian  E.  Yates,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  I,  No.  2,  October  1930,  p.  3. 

'**  Annual  Report,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  3,  January  1932,  p.  5. 

^<"Col.  Brasted  named  Chief  of  Chaplains,  New  York  Times,  12  December  1933,  p.  2-6;  A 
Message  from  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  V,  No.  4,  April  1934,  p.  5;  and 
Character  Building  Lecture,  the  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VII,  No.  1,  July  1936,  p.  17. 

^*^  Chief  of  Chaplains  Annual  Report,  The  Army  and  Navy  Register,  26  June,  1935,  p.  62. 

'""  Morale  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  Vol.  V,  No.  1,  August  1934,  p.  4. 

''"  Evelyn  Brasted,  Soldier  of  God.,  (New  York:  Cariton  Press,  1971 ),  p.  37. 

"'  Ibid.,  p.  62-90. 

""  Chaplain  Becomes  "Soldier  of  the  Cross"  In  Commanche  Tribe  Indians,  The  Army  Chap- 
lain, Vol.  VIII.,  No.  3,  January-February  1937,  p.  7. 

"'^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  70. 

"^Attendance  Contest,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  4,  April  1937,  p.  13. 

"^  Notes,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  II,  No.  3.,  January  1931,  p.  15;  and  What  the  Chaplains 
are  Doing.  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  4,  p.  14. 

"*  Hal  C.  Head,  The  United  States  Army  Transport  Republic,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  III. 
No.  3,  January  1932,  p.  7. 

"'' Chaplain  Nathaniel  L.  Jones  Writes  Book  of  Sonnets,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VII,  No. 
1,  July  1936,  p.  15. 

^  The  Army  Chaplain  Has  New  Editor,  The  Army  Chaplain;  Vol.  VII,  No.  4,  April-May 
1936,  p.  2. 

"'Notes,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  I,  No.  3,  January  1931,  p.  15. 

^^  Army  Postgraduate  Instruction,  Army  and  Navy  Register,  Vol.  XL,  No.  2671,  3  October 
1931,  p.  321. 

84  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

"^  What  the  Chaplains  are  Doing,  The  Army  Chaplain,  p.  13. 

"'  Ibid. 

'^  Burling,  the  C.M.T.C.  As  it  Was  Reported,  p.  5. 

^^The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  II,  No.  4,  April  1931,  p.  10. 

'^  Chaplain  Flies  to  Orient,  the  .'\rmy  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  3,  January  1937,  p.  10;  and 
King  of  Norway  receives  Chaplain  Ylvisaker,  same  issue  and  page. 

^^  Notes,  The  Army  Chaplain,  p.  15. 

^"  Burling,  The  CMTC.  As  it  was  Reported,  p.  5. 

'"*  General  Assembly  of  The  Presbyterian  Church,  Pamphlet,  1939,  Document  number  AC 
75625,  p.  4,  Presbyterian  Historical  Society,  Philadelphia,  Pa. 

'^  Manchester,  The  Glory  and  the  Dream,  p.  248. 

""  Ibid. 

"^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  79. 

''^-Ibid.  p.  79. 

THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 


Figure  1 .  The  Chaplains'  Cenotaph,  ArHngton  Cemetery,  commemorat- 
ing World  War  I  chaplains  Who  Gave  Their  Lives.  By  courtesy  of  the 
General  Committee  on  Army  and  Navy  chaplains. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  7 


THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 


Figure  3.  William  R.  Arnold,  Chief  of  Chap- 
lains— the  first  chief  to  wear  stars,  and  the 
Wartime  Chief  during  World  War  II.  Photo 
by  US  Army  Signal  Corps. 

Figure  4.  The  "Mobilization"  Chapel.  Photo  by  US  Army 
Signal  Corps. 

THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Figure  5.  Interior  of  the  Mobilization  Chapel.  Photo  by  US  Army  Signal 

Figure  6.  Dedication  of  the  First  Mobiliza- 
tion Chapel  at  Arlington  Cemetery.  Left, 
Chaplain  William  R.  Arnold,  Center,  Gen- 
eral George  C.  Marshall,  Chief  of  Staff  of 
the  US  Army.  Photo  by  US  Army  Signal 

THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 


Figure  7.  Chapel  Initiatory,  Arlington  Cantonement,  VA,  27  July  1941 
Photo  from  Office  of  Constructing  Quartermaster,  by  F.  G.  Wells. 

Figure  8.  Soldiers  attending  Religious  In- 
struction in  Mobilization  Chapel.  Photo  by 
US  Army  Signal  Corps. 


THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Figure  9.  Dudley  Summers'  Painting  of  "The  Four  Chaplains"  aboard  the 
Transport  Dorchester.  Photo  courtesy  of  the  National  Conference  of 
Christians  and  Jews. 


World   War    II — From    Pearl    Harbor 
Through  The  Dorchester 


On  1  September  1939  Germany  invaded  Poland.  France  and  Great 
Britain  responded  by  declaring  war  on  Germany.  Radio  brought  these 
events  to  the  American  people  with  an  immediacy  and  intimacy  never 
before  experienced.  "This  nation  will  remain  a  neutral  nation,"  Roosevelt 
announced  in  a  fireside  chat  on  3  September,  "but  I  cannot  ask  that  every 
American  remain  neutral  in  thought  as  well."  ^ 

The  country  was  sharply  divided  between  isolationists  and  inter- 
ventionists. Those  who  wanted  to  intervene  and  those  who  didn't  were, 
for  the  most  part,  sympathetic  to  Britain  and  France.  Roosevelt  was  com- 
mitted to  their  support  in  every  way  short  of  an  actual  declaration  of  war. 
He  was  convinced  that  the  United  States  could  stay  out  of  the  war  and 
have  a  generation  of  peace,  but  he  knew  the  price ;  the  next  generation  of 
Americans  would  have  to  fight  alone  against  overwhelming  odds." 

Lincoln  said  you  could  do  anything  with  public  opinion,  and  nothing 
without  it.^  "To  serve  the  public  faithfully  and  at  the  same  time  please  it 
entirely  is  impossible,"  said  Benjamin  Franklin.*  But  even  a  divided  public 
approved  of  building  America's  defense  forces.  George  C.  Marshall,  a 
Brigadier  General,  was  sworn  in  as  Chief  of  Staff  as  a  full  general  on  the 
day  Poland  was  invaded.  Poland  fell  in  17  days.  America's  Army  was 
smaller  and  weaker  than  Poland's.  The  danger  and  the  lesson  were  clear. 
The  President  declared  a  limited  national  emergency  and  authorized 
increases  in  the  Regular  Army  and  National  Guard.  The  Army  concen- 
trated on  expanding  its  Air  Corps,  making  its  regular  forces  ready  for 
action,  and  providing  divisions  with  full  and  modern  equipment.  In  April 
1940  the  first  genuine  corps  and  army  training  maneuvers  in  American 
military  history  took  place,  involving  70,000  troops.^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


92  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

The  successful  German  seizure  of  Denmark  and  Norway,  followed 
by  the  quick  defeat  of  the  Low  Countries  and  France,  were  grave  threats 
to  Great  Britain  and  forced  the  United  States  to  adopt  a  new  and  greatly 
enlarged  program  for  defense  in  the  spring  of  1940.  By  September  the 
Army  was  planning  a  force  of  a  million  and  a  half.  The  National  Guard 
and  the  organized  Reserves  were  called  up;  the  first  peacetime  draft  of 
untrained  civilian  manpower  in  the  nation's  history,  provided  for  by  the 
Selective  Service  and  Training  Act  of  14  September  1940,  was  instituted. 
The  Army  doubled  in  size  during  the  last  six  months  of  1940.  In  1941  the 
Army  received  $8  billion  for  its  needs,  more  than  the  combined  total  of 
the  preceding  twenty  years.® 

Steps  Toward  War 

America  was  providing  arms  to  Britain  and  France.  In  September 

1940  the  United  States  exchanged  fifty  overage  destroyers  with  Britain 
for  offshore  Atlantic  bases;  the  President  announced  that  henceforth 
production  of  heavy  bombers  would  be  shared  equally  with  the  British. 
The  foreign  aid  program  included  the  Lend-Lease  Act  of  March  1941, 
which  according  to  American  Military  History,  "swept  away  the  pretense 
of  American  neutrality  by  openly  avowing  the  intention  of  the  United 
States  to  become  an  'arsenal  of  democracy'  against  aggression."  ' 

The  Germans  invaded  the  Soviet  Union  on  22  June  1941  and  three 
days  later  American  troops  landed  in  Greenland  to  protect  it  against 
German  attack.  American  forces  moved  into  Iceland  as  well.  In  October 
the  Navy  was  fully  engaged  in  convoy-escort  duties  in  the  western  reaches 
of  the  North  Atlantic,  which  led  to  undeclared  war  between  German 
and  American  ships. ^ 

In  the  Pacific  the  possibilities  for  war  steadily  increased.  In  late  July 

1941  the  Japanese  moved  large  forces  into  what  later  became  South 
Vietnam.  The  United  States  responded  by  freezing  Japanese  assets  and 
cutting  off  oil  shipments  to  Japan.  (Oil  was  critical  for  Japanese  naval 
forces. )  Reinforcements  were  sent  to  the  Philippines.  In  September  the 
Japanese  tentatively  decided  to  embark  on  a  war  of  conquest  in  South- 
east Asia  and  the  Indies;  they  planned  to  try  to  immobilize  American 
naval  opposition  by  an  opening  air  strike  against  the  naval  base  at  Pearl 
Harbor,  Hawaii.  Manchester  observed,  "When  intense  last-minute  nego- 
tiations in  November  failed  to  produce  any  accommodation,  the  Japanese 
made  their  decision  for  war  irrevocable."  ^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Thinking  Within  The  Church 

Rehgious  leaders  of  the  past  were  upbraided  for  abiHty  to  read 
weather  signs  but  inabihty  to  discern  the  signs  of  the  times."  In  1940 
and  1941  neither  the  Church  nor  the  State  was  overstaffed  with  prophets 
and  seers.  Joseph  P.  Kennedy,  back  from  London,  said  talk  about  Britain 
fighting  for  democracy  was  "bunk."  John  Foster  Dulles  said  in  November 
1941,  "only  hysteria  entertains  the  idea  that  Germany,  Italy,  or  Japan 
contemplates  war  upon  us";  Senator  Robert  A.  Taft,  commenting  on 
White  House  displeasure  over  Japanese  troops  in  Vietnam,  said  no  Ameri- 
can mother  was  ready  to  have  her  son  die  "for  some  place  with  an  unpro- 
nounceable name  in  Indo-China."  " 

Distinguished  clergy  seemed  determined  to  shoot  at  the  wrong  tar- 
get. Harry  Emerson  Fosdick  said  the  draft  was  immoral.  Another  clergy- 
man predicted  it  would  reduce  American  youth  to  "syphilis  and  slavery."  ^^ 
Similarly,  the  Catholic  magazine  America  fretted  about  prophylactics. 
".  .  .  The  sale  of  contraceptive  devices  at  Army  posts,  on  orders  from 
headquarters  in  Washington  .  .  .  brings  out  the  purely  natural  and  secular 
nature  of  the  Army."  The  article  claimed  the  Army  vv^as  interested  in 
bodies,  not  souls.  "They  are  in  camp  and  many  of  them  do  not  know 
why.  .  .  .  They  are  the  sons  and  the  brothers,  most  of  them,  of  that  eighty 
per  cent  of  the  American  people  who  are  determined  that  this  country 
shall  not  be  dragged  into  a  foreign  war."  ^^  An  editorial  opinion  stated 
that  one  of  the  reasons  the  modern  world  was  headed  into  chaos  was 
"that  the  lives  of  the  Saints  have  not  been  best-sellers  ....  Hand  grenades 
will  never  bring  lasting  peace  to  the  world,  but  the  right  sort  of  heroes 
enshrined  in  a  sufficient  number  of  human  hearts  will."  ^* 

Writers  in  church  publications  worried  about  propaganda.  Readers 
were  reminded  that  World  War  I  produced  a  deluge  of  propaganda  of  the 
atrocity  story  variety.  This  time,  they  warned,  propaganda  prepared  for 
export  to  America  as  well  as  the  domestic  type  would  be  based  on 
alleged  moral  and  religious  grounds.  "Certainly  no  civilized  man  can 
approve  the  principles  which  dictate  the  conduct  of  Hitler  and  Stalin; 
hence  it  will  not  be  difficult  to  plead  that  it  is  the  duty  of  the  United 
States  to  supply  money  and  armies  to  bring  these  men  and  their  princi- 
ples an  an  end."  ^'.Harold  Gardiner  was  concerned  about  propaganda 
in  comic  strips.^"  John  Toomey  wrote,  "We  Are  Not  Swayed  By  War 
Propaganda."  ''  The  Gallup  Poll  reported  that  Americans  did  not  want 
to  hear  about  war  from  their  pulpits.  The  question  asked  was :  "Do  you 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

94  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

think  preachers  and  priests  should  discuss  from  the  pulpit  the  question  of 
American  participation  in  the  War?"  55%  answered,  "No."  '^ 

Morality  in  the  towns  surrounding  the  camps  worried  the  clergy. 
One  commanding  officer  said,  "While  the  church  groups  are  worrying 
about  what  the  army  may  do  to  the  boys,  I  am  worried  about  what  the 
towns  near  the  camps  may  do  to  our  army  lads."  "  A  Methodist 
magazine  warned,  "The  liquor  traffic  and  the  vice  interests  will  be 
waiting  for  our  sons  when  they  go  to  camp."  ""  And  another  warned  that, 
"Methodists  must  see  to  it  that  the  voice  of  the  drill  sergeant  is  not  more 
imperative  than  the  voice  of  the  gospel."  ''  After  the  fall  of  France  came 
the  admonition:  "There  is  a  lesson  for  America  in  this  experience  .  .  . 
our  chief  job  is  to  make  America  worthy  of  the  divine  benediction  for 
there  are  some  things — laziness,  shoddy  work,  corruption,  dishonesty,  in- 
attention to  duty — which  God  himself  cannot  bless."  ^"  With  the  world 
about  to  be  engulfed  in  the  fiames  of  war,  there  were  those  who  saw  no 
further  than  making  sure  girls  in  camp  shows  were  more  fully  clothed  ^^ 
or  that  we  should  stop  buying  silk  from  Japan.  (Japan  sold  the  United 
States  $13  million  worth  between  1  October  and  15  December  1941.)  ^* 

One  effect  of  the  social  transformations  wrought  during  the  decades 
preceding  the  1940's  was  a  distinct  decline  in  the  relative  moral  force  of 
the  churches.  Ahlstrom  wrote,  "They  simply  were  not  as  important  a 
factor  in  the  molding  of  public  attitudes  as  they  had  been  in  1916.  The 
pulpit  and  church  press  had  lost  their  preeminence  among  the  mass 
media."  "'  Most  conservative  evangelicals  were  committed  to  being  non- 
committal on  public  issues  while  modernists  undermined  the  authority 
of  the  churches  to  speak  on  any  issue. 

This  is  not  to  say  there  were  no  prophets  and  seers.  The  Methodists 
launched  a  campaign  in  early  1941  to  assist  the  churches  located  near 
Army  camps  to  minister  to  soldiers  by  asking  for  "One  Million  From 
Eight  Million."  '"'  A  new  magazine,  Christianity  In  Crisis,  appeared  10 
February  1941  and  regularly  focused  attention  on  the  central  issues.  Its 
viewpoint  was  that  American  hopes  for  the  future,  as  well  as  contrition 
over  past  misdeeds,  must  be  subordinated  to  the  urgent,  immediate  task. 
In  this  instance  the  immediate  task  was  clear— defeat  of  Nazi  tyranny. 
"If  this  task  does  not  engage  us,  both  our  repentance  and  our  hope  be- 
come luxuries  in  which  we  indulge  while  other  men  save  us  from  an 
intolerable  fate,  or  while  our  inaction  betrays  into  disaster  a  cause  to 
which  we  owe  allegiance."  ""  The  magazine  reported  the  plight  of  Belgian 
Jews  in  concentration  camps,  the  treatment  of  Warsaw  Jews,  and  reports 
of  pastors  jailed  in  Germany.  It  called  for  the  repeal  of  the  Neutrality 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Act,  calling  it,  "one  of  the  most  immoral  laws  that  was  ever  spread  upon 
a  federal  statute  book."  ~^ 

During  the  1930's  a  strong  pacifist  movement  dominated  much  of 
American  theology.  Mainly  it  stemmed  from  a  humanistic  influence  which 
saw  man  as  inherently  good,  but  institutions  thwarted  the  struggle  for 
advancement  toward  the  kingdom  of  God:  Institutions  needed  to  be 
converted  as  well  as  individuals.  Hence,  war  was  man's  greatest  sin,  and 
the  way  of  salvation  was  to  renounce  it  by  nonparticipation.  Education 
was  the  means  to  universal  brotherhood  and  peace. 

As  events  moved  America  toward  participation  in  World  War  II 
church  leaders  realized  that  religion  itself  was  a  target.  Hitler's  Mein 
Kampf  was  not  a  comic  political  theory.  Churches  protesting  the  liqui- 
dation of  Jews  in  Europe  were  closed  and  their  pastors  imprisoned  by 
Nazi  authorities.  Rival  state  religions  developed.  The  myth  of  the  Tue- 
tonic  Superman  and  Norse  gods  arose.  The  Japanese  had  put  a  clamp 
on  missionaries,  native  ministers,  and  congregations.  Shintoism,  revived 
under  military  control,  demanded  absolute  obedience  to  the  Emperor  as 
a  political  and  religious  duty.  The  educated  nations  of  Germany,  Italy, 
and  Japan,  used  the  tools  of  progress  for  destruction  against  Manchuria, 
Ethiopia  and  Europe.  The  modem  myth  of  man's  goodness  started  to 
collapse.  Increasingly,  religious  leaders  had  to  face  the  question  whether 
they  could  renounce  a  world  of  suffering.  Was  isolation  moral? 

As  a  result  of  Japan's  attack  on  Pearl  Harbor  Americans  awoke  to 
the  massive  irony  of  national  consensus  in  the  actuality  of  war.  In  a 
matter  of  hours  the  situation  changed,  what  was  confused  became  clear. 
The  great  debates  were  over.  An  "Army"  of  pacifists  dwindled  to  about 
twelve  thousand,  or  according  to  Ahlstrom,  less  than  1  percent  of  those 
who  registered  for  the  draft."''  The  churches  shared  the  national  con- 
sensus on  war.  Whether  Protestant,  Catholic,  or  Jewish,  they  showed  no 
reluctance  to  support  the  war  effort.  They  provided  chaplains;  raised 
money  and  volunteers  for  war  service  agencies;  distributed  Bibles,  prayer- 
books,  and  devotional  literature;  maintained  contact  with  service  per- 
sonnel and  counseled  and  aided  those  left  behind.  Ahlstrom  wrote,  "Even 
with  the  provocations  which  Hitler  provided,  however,  the  churches  did 
not  repeat  the  unrestrained  capitulation  to  the  war  spirit  which  had  left 
them  disgraced  after  1918.  Many  factors  help  to  explain  this  change  .  .  . 
In  theological  terms,  Neo-orthodoxy  is  a  large  part  of  the  explanation."  ^^ 

"...  Americans  marched  off  to  battle  not  so  much  with  flying  flags 
and  patriotic  oratory  as  with  a  grim,  realistic  determination  to  fight  for 
the  survival  of  the  nation  and  its  allies,"  according  to  Grosvenor.'' 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

96  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

The  war  taught  that  the  liberties  of  minority  groups — political  or 
religious — are  important  to  the  hberties  of  all;  that  an  attack  upon  one 
group  or  faith  can  be  the  prelude  to  the  strangulation  of  all.  This 
soul-searching  problem  shook  church  bodies  across  the  nation,  and  the 
repercussions  were  to  have  far-reaching  effects  in  American  theology.  A 
statement  by  Protestant  leaders  early  in  the  war  said : 

We  abhor  war.  But  in  the  outcome  of  this  war,  ethical  issues  are  at 
stake  to  which  no  Christian  can  remain  indifferent.  Totalitarian  aggres- 
sion must  be  halted  or  there  will  be  no  peace  and  order  in  the  world. 
Our  nation  has  faced  that  issue  and  made  its  choice.  Adhering  to  our 
belief  that  it  is  the  responsibility  of  Christians  to  make  moral  appraisal 
of  the  actions  of  governments,  our  consciences,  as  Christians,  support  that 
decision  of  our  government. ^^ 

The  General  Conference  of  the  Methodist  Church  in  May  1944 
reversed  its  position  on  war  and  stated,  "We  are  well  within  the  Christian 
position  when  we  assert  the  necessity  of  the  use  of  military  forces  to 
resist  an  agression  which  would  overthrow  every  right  which  is  held 
sacred  by  civilized  man."  "''  While  it  could  not  be  simply  defined,  resist- 
ance against  the  evil  of  totalitarian  government — even  to  the  point  of 
war — was  seen  to  be  the  lesser  of  two  evils. 

Indorsing  Agencies  Prepare 

Almost  100,000  civilians  were  commissioned  directly  into  the  US 
Army,  and  slightly  less  than  half  of  these  were  doctors,  dentists,  and 
chaplains.  Because  of  their  professional  status  clergymen  were  exempt 
from  Selective  Service,  commonly  called  "the  draft,"  which  began  16 
October  1940.  Those  clergy  holding  commissions  in  the  Officer  Reserve 
Corps  were  permitted  to  resign  them.  Others  like  James  Tull,  called  to 
duty  as  a  reserve  line  officer  from  a  pastorate  in  Frankfort,  Ky.,  was  later 
commissioned  as  a  chaplain  and  served  under  General  Chennault  in 
China.  Others  came  to  the  chaplaincy  in  similar  ways.^^ 

In  the  summer  of  1940  there  were  137  chaplains  in  the  Regular 
Army.  Of  about  1,000  Reserve  chaplains,  770  were  eHgible  for  active 
duty,  and  145  of  them  were  serving  with  the  Army  and  about  100  with 
the  Civilian  Conservation  Corps.  During  the  next  few  months  many 
appointments  were  made  in  the  Officers  Reserve  Corps,  but  a  law  of  22 
September  1941  authorized  temporary  appointments  in  the  Army  of  the 
United  States  (AUS).  By  the  day  of  the  Pearl  Harbor  attack,  140 
chaplains  of  the  Regular  Army,  298  of  the  National  Guard  and  1,040 
Reserve  chaplains  were  on  duty,  a  total  of  1,478.  For  the  chaplaincy  the 
situation  differed  greatly  from  that  of  April   1917  when  the  country 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


entered  the  first  world  struggle.  On  that  occasion  few  preparations  were 
made  until  after  the  declaration  of  war.  The  beginning  of  hostilities  in 
1941  found  many  training  camps  in  operation  and  a  substantial  number 
of  soldiers  well  advanced  in  basic  training.  There  were  half  as  many 
chaplains  already  on  duty  at  the  start  of  WWII  as  there  had  been  at  the 
conclusion  of  WWI.  Nevertheless,  the  need  for  nine  thousand  chaplains 
during  World  War  II  made  the  prewar  figure  a  mere  fraction  of  what 
\vould  be  needed. ^'^  But  the  mechanism  for  turning  civilian  clerg\^  into 
chaplains  was  in  operation — more  or  less.  And  that  "more  or  less"  is  a 
fascinating  administrative  story. 

The  chaplaincy  as  an  institution  was  difTerent  from  other  corps  and 
branches  of  the  Army.  There  was  no  large  school  in  civilian  life  that 
trained  pilots,  tankers,  infantrymen,  or  combat  engineers.  (Even  West 
Point  could  not  claim  to  be  such  an  institution) .  But  the  seminaries  and 
rabbinical  schools  in  American  trained  hundreds  of  thousands  of  clergy- 
men who  could  become  chaplains  with  no  need  of  further  training  as 
clergy.  Chaplains  differed  from  the  medical  and  legal  branches  in  that 
the  qualifications  and  quotas  for  the  latter  were  administered  by  the 
draft  boards.  Only  the  chaplaincy  had  a  civilian  agency  interviewing, 
selecting  and  indorsing  men  to  the  Army.  The  indorsing  agencies  for  the 
three  major  faith  groups  were  the  Jewish  Welfare  Board,  the  Military 
Ordinariate,  and  The  General  Commission  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains. 

The  Jewish  Welfare  Board  was  a  small,  almost  one-man  operation 
until  1940.  It  was  headed  by  Dr.  Cyrus  Adler,  who  died  in  April  of  that 
year;  he  was  succeeded  by  Rabbi  David  De  Sola  Pool.  By  the  time 
Selective  Service  was  initiated  1 7  Rabbis  held  commissions  in  the  Army. 
Chaplain  Bernard  Segal  was  ordered  to  active  duty  on  1  August  1940 
and  was  assigned  to  Fort  Dix,  New  Jersey,  "the  post  which  then  and 
ever  since  has  had  more  Jewish  trainees  than  any  other  American  military 
training  center."  Segal  became  the  first  full-time  Jewish  chaplain  since 
1918,  because  the  draft  changed  the  religious  make  up  of  the  Army. 
Chaplain  Aryeh  Lev  came  on  duty  in  November  and  was  assigned  to 
the  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  the  first  Jewish  chaplain  to  receive 
such  a  high  administrative  assignment.  By  the  start  of  the  war  there  were 
24  Jewish  chaplains  on  active  duty.^^ 

On  29  November  1939  Pope  Pius  XII  appointed  Bishop  Francis  J. 
Spellman  (later  archbishop  and  cardinal)  to  be  Military  Vicar  for  the 
United  States  wdth  special  jurisdiction  over  Catholic  chaplains  and  men 
of  the  Armed  Forces.  The  following  month  Bishop  John  F.  O'Hara, 
C.S.C.,  was  appointed  Military  Delegate  to  assist  Archbishop  Spellman 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

98  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

in  his  military  work.  Two  months  after  Bishop  O'Hara's  consecration 
the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  William  R.  Arnold,  wrote : 

The  beneficial  effects  of  his  appointment  are  felt  in  all  directions. 
I  feel  at  ease  with  him  for  he  was  a  boy  in  my  parish  before  I  came  into 
the  Army.  I  have  always  known  and  addressed  him  as  John  and  later  as 
Father  John.  Now,  I  must  be  careful  not  to  presume.  In  my  prayers, 
however,  he  is  still  John.  God  bless  him.^' 

The  vigor  with  which  Bishop  O'Hara  approached  his  work  was 
revealed  in  a  letter  to  General  Marshall  dated  July  1941 :  "During  the 
past  year  I  have  visited  more  than  150  Army  posts  and  Navy  Stations  and 
the  unfailing  courtesy  of  the  officers  and  men  has  made  delightful  a  task 
that  might  other  wise  have  proved  impossible."  ^^  Bishop  Spellman  and 
O'Hara  were  happy  choices  and  showed  the  importance  the  Catholic 
Church  gave  to  the  positions.  The  Military  Ordinariate  grew  as  no  civilian 
diocese  ever  did:  from  36  Catholic  chaplains  in  the  Army  and  19  in  the 
Navy  in  1939,  to  more  than  3,000  priests  on  active  duty,  assisted  by  more 
than  1 ,700  auxiliary  chaplains,  in  1945. 

The  General  Committee  on  Army  and  Navy  chaplains  was  reorga- 
nized in  1 940  as  the  General  Commission  on  Army  and  Navy  Chaplains ; 
it  was  independent  of  the  Federal  Council  of  Churches  under  which  the 
Committee  was  originally  formed.  The  change  allowed  wider  representa- 
tion from  among  Protestant  denominations,  some  of  which  were  not 
previously  affiliated  with  the  Federal  Council  for  reasons  of  theology  and 
polity.  The  Commission  served  as  a  liaison  between  the  armed  forces 
and  some  40  Protestant  denominations.  The  chairmen  during  the  war 
years  were  Dr.  Ruf  us  W.  Weaver,  Bishop  Adna  W.  Leonard,  Dr.  William 
Barrow  Pugh,  and  Bishop  Henry  Knox  Sherill,  and  the  directors  were 
Dr.  Paul  Moody,  Dr.  S.  Arthur  Devan,  and  Bishop  Edwin  F.  Lee.'' 

The  involved  ecclesiastical  indorsement  procedure  of  the  General 
Commission  required  three  to  four  months,  too  long  for  the  urgent 
demands  of  war.  That  fact  and  the  unprecedented  demand  for  Protestant 
chaplains  led  to  development  of  denominational  commissions  that  could 
give  an  indorsement  within  19  days.  Smaller  groups  cooperated  with  in- 
dorsing commissions  of  closely  related  denominations. 

Qualifications  Of  Chaplains 

AR  605-30,  December  1941,  required  applicants  for  original  ap- 
pointment in  the  Regular  Army  to  be — 

a.  A  male  citizen  of  the  United  States. 

b.  Between  the  ages  of  23  and  34  years. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


c.  Regularly  ordained,  duly  accredited  by  and  in  good  standing 
with  some  religious  denomination  or  organization  which  holds  an  appor- 
tionment of  chaplain  appointments  in  accordance  with  the  needs  of 

d.  A  graduate  of  both  4  year  college  and  3 -year  theological  seminary 

e.  Actively  engaged  in  the  ministry  as  the  principal  occupation  in 
life  and  be  credited  with  3  years  experience  therein. 

Appointments  in  the  Army  of  the  United  States  allowed  the  maxi- 
mum age  to  be  55.*° 

From  the  period  of  emergency  that  began  9  September  1939  to  the 
surrender  of  Japan  on  2  September  1945  a  total  of  9,1 17  chaplains  served 
in  the  Army,  8,896  of  them  on  duty  during  the  period  of  actual  combat. 
On  the  day  hostilities  closed,  "V-J  Day,"  the  total  was  8,141  (Catholic 
2,278,  Jewish  243,  Protestant  5,620).  Counting  a  few  who  had  not  yet 
reported  for  duty,  it  was  reckoned  that  the  8,171  in  service  or  under  orders 
in  July  of  1945  were  the  greatest  number  of  chaplains  who  can  be  said  to 
have  served  at  any  specific  time  during  the  war.  The  Army  then  numbered 
about  8,200,000  so  that  the  proportion  of  1  to  1,000  ratio  asked  by  the 
Chief  had  almost  been  reached." 

Getting  chaplains  screened,  indorsed,  trained,  equipped,  assigned, 
transported,  maintained,  supplied,  supervised,  promoted,  and  replaced 
does  not  make  for  exciting  tales  to  tell  the  grandchildren,  but  it  was  a 
necessary,  grueling,  thankless,  herculean  task  that  taxed  administrative 
ability,  imagination,  flexibility,  patience,  and  diplomacy.  That  it  was 
done  at  all  was  amazing;  that  it  was  done  so  well  was  truly  remarkable. 
General  Marshall  said  at  one  time,  "The  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains 
is  the  best  run  office  in  the  War  Department."  *^ 

To  cope  with  the  unprecedented  growth  of  the  Army  and  the  branch, 
the  Chief  of  Chaplains'  Office— which  from  1920  to  1939  had  only  three 
chaplains  and  three  to  five  Army  field  clerks  and  civilian  employees — 
increased  to  about  26  chaplains  and  offices  plus  1 25  civilian  clerks.  It  was 
organized  into  the  Personnel  Division,  Ground  Liaison  Division,  Air 
Liaison  Division,  Technical  and  Information  Division,  Administrative 
Division,  Plans  and  Training  Division,  and  Miscellaneous  Division. 
Colonel  Goodyear,  who  was  with  the  Chief's  Office  from  its  inception  in 
1920,  was  the  executive  assistant  and  legal  advisor.  An  officer  in  the 
Adjutant  General  branch,  he  was  instrumental  in  preparing  proposed 
legislation  and  regulations  to  bring  chaplains  to  parity  with  other  services. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

100  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Thomas  Griesemer  served  the  Office  continuously  from  1935  to  1960  as 
a  civilian  (except  for  one  year  of  Army  duty  as  a  major  in  Japan) . 

The  1936  religious  census,  published  in  1939,  was  the  basis  for  estab- 
lishing the  quotas  of  chaplains  by  denomination.  (A  denominational 
breakdown  may  be  found  in  Appendix  C).  The  Chief  of  Chaplains, 
William  R.  Arnold,  spoke  to  General  George  C.  Marshall,  Chief  of  Staff, 
about  lowering  the  ratio  of  chaplains  to  officers  and  men  from  the  long 
standing  1  to  1,200  to  1  to  800.  Although  the  recommendation  never 
materialized  Marshall  promised  that  chaplains  would  be  protected  from 
extra  duties  so  that  they  could  devote  full  time  to  religious  responsi- 

Creating  quotas  and  authorized  spaces  was  a  difficult  administrative 
problem  particularly  when  made  with  officers  who  had  no  conception  of 
a  chaplains  program  other  than  consoling  the  sick  and  wounded,  and 
burying  the  dead.  But  spaces  did  not  create  faces.  The  Military  Ordi- 
nariate  was  never  able  to  supply  the  number  of  Catholic  chaplains  sought 
by  the  War  Department.  The  ordinariate  declared  that  half  a  million  men 
did  not  have  the  services  of  a  Catholic  chaplain.  Early  in  1943  there  were 
1,284  on  duty  against  a  quota  of  2,250.  At  the  end  of  the  war  88  percent 
of  the  quota,  or  about  5.8  percent  of  the  Catholic  priests  in  the  continental 
United  States  were  in  the  Army.** 

Negro  churches  were  authorized  790  chaplains  but  only  1 74  were  in 
service  at  the  end  of  the  war.  While  many  black  chaplains  came  to  the 
Army  from  churches  that  were  not  listed  as  "Negro,"  the  fact  remains 
that  only  22  percent  of  the  quota  was  filled.  Although  it  was  the  policy  to 
assign  black  chaplains  to  black  troops,  obviously  this  could  not  always  be 
done.  The  educational  requirements  for  black  ministers  were  modified  in 
such  a  way  that  many  ministers  who  were  barred  by  previous  regulations 
were  able  to  qualify. 

Christian  Scientists,  the  Friends,  Eastern  Orthodox,  and  Mormon 
churches  presented  some  problems  to  the  chaplaincy.  These  organizations 
observe  rites  or  emphasized  principles  so  different  from  those  classified  as 
"Protestant"  that  serious  questions  arose  concerning  their  ability  to 
minister  effectively  to  persons  not  affiliated  with  their  respective  groups. 
The  question  was  important  because  the  comparatively  few  adherents  of 
these  churches  were  dispersed  so  widely  in  the  Army  that  a  chaplain  of 
any  of  these  faiths  would  find  it  impossible  to  bring  together  any  consider- 
able number  of  coreligionists  at  any  one  time.  Chaplains  representing 
these  churches  were  usually  assigned  to  Army  and  theatre  headquarters,  so 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


that  they  might  have  wide  latitude  to  travel  from  one  location  to  another, 
ministering  to  their  men. 

Language  problems  complicated  religious  coverage.  In  1942  the  War 
Department  organized  an  all-Greek  battalion  and  authorized  a  Greek 
Orthodox  chaplain.  Although  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  asked  Archbishop 
Athenagoras  for  a  suitable  candidate,  almost  one  year  passed  before  a  man 
with  the  proper  age  and  physical  condition  with  a  sufficient  knowledge 
of  the  English  language  was  found.  A  similar  problem  arose  in  1943  when 
the  442d  Infantry  was  organized.  The  Japanese  Americans  who  composed 
the  unit  were  largely  Buddhist  in  faith.  The  Buddhist  Mission  of  North 
America  was  unable  to  produce  a  qualified  candidate.  Later,  a  Christain 
chaplain  of  Japanese  descent  was  assigned  to  this  regiment. 

Unless  terminated  sooner,  these  wartime  appointments  to  the  Army 
of  the  United  States  were  to  continue  until  6  months  after  the  end  of 
the  emergency. 

The  rule  that  chaplains  must  be  male  citizens  was  challenged  in  two 
particulars.  When  the  Women's  Army  Auxiliary  Corps  was  established,  it 
was  urged  by  an  organization  of  women  ministers  and  by  individuals, 
that  the  training  schools  for  these  women  and  any  large  units  in  which 
they  might  be  organized  be  served  by  female  chaplains.  A  survey  at  the 
training  camps  showed  that  very  few  of  the  young  women  desired  female 
chaplains.  The  matter  was  dropped.  Many  female  ministers  did  become 
chaplain's  assistants  and  directors  of  religious  education.  When  the  need 
for  chaplains  became  acute,  the  citizenship  rule  was  modified  and  the 
appointment  of  citizens  of  cobelligerent  and  friendly  powers  was 

Day  Of  Infamy  i 

Almost  all  official  and  unofficial  Americans  who  expected  war 
thought  it  would  come  from  naval  confrontations  in  the  Atlantic.  The 
U.S.S.  Kearny,  a  destroyer,  was  attacked;  two  weeks  later  another  de- 
stroyer, the  Reuben  James,  was  sunk  in  Icelandic  waters,  and  with  her 
over  a  hundred  U.S.  bluejackets.  There  was  real  war  fever  now  all  over 
the  country,  but  the  isolationists  on  the  Hill  remained  unimpressed." 

Foreign  policy  toward  Japan  according  to  Manchester  was  misman- 
aged, bungled,  and  ignored  because  the  real  threat  seemed  to  come  from 
Europe.  But  the  Japanese  felt  boxed  in,  pushed,  even  forced  to  go  to  war 
under  the  hard  line  of  Secretary  of  State  Hull.  (Politically  he  could  get 
away  with  it  because  of  racial  animosity  toward  the  Japanese. ) 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  8 

102  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

General  Walter  Short  and  Admiral  Husband  E.  Kimmel  received 
alert  messages  and  warnings  that  a  Japanses  attack  on  Hawaii  was 
coming.  They  didn't  believe  it.  Instead  servicemen  were  given  their  cus- 
tomary Saturday  evening  liberty.  No  special  guards  were  mounted  on 
the  United  States  Pacific  Fleet — anchored  in  Pearl  Harbor — 94  ships, 
including  eight  battlewagons  and  nine  cruisers.  General  Short  ordered 
Army  aircraft  lined  up  wing  tip  to  wing  tip  in  the  center  of  Hickam  Field 
where  they  were  easily  destroyed  by  hostile  warplanes. 

A.t  7:02  A.M.  in  Hawaii  a  radar  operator  on  Oahu  reported  the 
imminent  arrival  of  a  large  force  of  aircraft.  His  superior  officer  told  him 
to  forget  it.  Using  four  types  of  aircraft,  among  them  the  Kawasaki,  the 
Japanese  attack  was  the  worst  military  disaster  ever  to  strike  Americans. 
Casualty  figures  vary,  but  in  one  devastating  blow  American  losses  in- 
cluded: 3,400  casualties,  including  2,402  service  men  and  civilians  killed, 
and  170  aircraft  destroyed  and  102  damaged,  and  all  battleships  of  the 
Pacific  fleet  were  sunk  or  crippled.  Japanese  losses  were  about  49  aircraft 
and  5  midget  submarines.*^ 

For  the  Japanese  it  was  a  brilliant  tactical  feat.  Politically  it  had 
exactly  the  opposite  effect.  Attacking  without  a  declaration  of  war  was 
considered  treacherous,  and  the  numbed  American  people  reacted  in 
outrage  with  a  new  and  amazing  unity  of  purpose.  Gilbert  M.  Grosvenor 
wrote : 

Reactions  of  anger,  fright,  confusion,  and  determination  on  that 
Sunday  of  shock  carried  over  into  the  following  days.  Thousands  of  re- 
servists donned  uniforms  and  headed  for  mobilization  centers;  millions 
of  others  sought  to  enlist  or  waited  for  "Greetings"  from  their  draft 
boards.  From  a  nation  of  civilians,  the  United  States  once  again  turned 
into  one  of  warriors  and  war  workers.*^ 

The  following  Thursday  Hitler  and  Mussolini  declared  war  on  the 
United  States.  Dean  Acheson  wrote,  "At  last  our  enemies,  with  unparal- 
leled stupidity,  resolved  our  dilemmas,  clarified  our  doubts  and  uncertain- 
ties, and  united  our  people  for  the  long,  hard  course  that  the  national 
interest  required."  *^ 

Combat  Comes  To  The  Chaplains 

At  0755  that  fateful  Sunday  morning  Chaplain  Terence  P.  Finnegan 
prepared  for  Mass.  He  stopped  at  Schofield  Barracks  chapel  to  get  extra 
candles  for  service  in  the  assembly  hall.  As  he  came  in  front  of  the  little 
chapel,  he  saw  the  planes  dive  on  Pearl  Harbor  and  Hickam  Field ;  they 
flew  so  low  he  could  see  the  pilots.  He  drove  his  1931  Buick  in  a  mad 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


dash  to  the  artillery  area  to  disperse  the  men  assembled  for  Mass.  His  car 
was  strafed  on  the  way.  Finnegan  dispersed  the  men,  but  a  bomb  fell 
and  killed  six  men  as  they  took  up  positions.  He  said  the  last  rites  for 
the  dead,  drove  to  the  hospital  in  an  ambulance  full  of  wounded  men, 
and  ministered  there  to  the  living  and  dying.  More  than  400  litters  filled 
the  hospital.  In  the  afternoon  he  went  out  to  a  plane  that  crashed  and 
burned,  to  pull  out  the  broken  body  of  the  pilot  and  administer  the  last 
rites.  He  ate  breakfast  at  5  o'clock  that  afternoon  and  didn't  ger  his 
clothes  off  for  the  next  three  days.  Assigned  to  the  25th  Infantr\'  Division, 
he  was  the  only  Catholic  chaplain  who  served  the  Schofield  Barracks 

Chaplain  Alvin  Katt  at  Wheeler  field  heard  blasts  on  the  flight  line 
and  saw  P-40's  melt  like  wax.  Within  moments  men  were  dying,  two  of 
them  members  of  his  choir.  He  had  a  new  cantonement  type  chapel,  one 
of  the  first  in  the  Pacific;  a  Japanese  Zero  strafed  it  with  incendiary 
bullets,  but  miraculously  it  did  not  catch  fire.  Katt  joined  Finnegan  and 
Chaplain  Harry  P.  Richmond  at  the  hospital,  where  they  ministered  to 
the  injured  and  dying. 

At  Hickam  Field,  Chaplain  Elmer  Tiedt  heard  his  four  children 
rush  in  the  back  door  and  shout,  "There  are  planes  with  red  balls  on 
the  wings — all  over  the  place — dropping  bombs!  Ships  are  burning  in 
the  harbor!"  The  senior  chaplain's  assistant  was  killed  at  the  altar  in  the 
old  wooden  hangar  used  for  a  theater  and  chapel.  Another  assistant  was 
killed  while  setting  up  a  machine  gun. 

The  base  hospital  was  soon  filled  with  casualties.  None  had  dog 
tags,  and  the  problem  was  how  to  offer  prayer  according  to  the  individu- 
al's belief.  Chaplains  Sliney,  Mullan,  Patrick  and  Tiedt  made  every  effort 
to  serve  each  man  according  to  his  faith.  Thrust  suddenly  into  a  combat 
ministry.  Chaplain  Tiedt  had  an  extra  burden  to  carry :  in  the  confusion 
the  Commanding  General  informed  him  that  Mrs.  Tiedt  was  dead,  and 
offered  to  help  with  the  children.  Not  until  the  next  day  did  he  learn 
that  she  was  all  right.  Jorgensen  wrote: 

In  those  first  troubled  days  the  chaplains  in  Hawaii  visited  the 
sick  and  dying,  set  up  a  central  clearing  agency  to  check  personnel  rec- 
ords for  bereaved  women  and  children,  set  up  a  radiogram  center  to 
help  men  get  in  touch  with  anxious  mothers,  distributed  cigarettes, 
candy,  soap,  razor  blades,  visited  defense  positions,  and  conducted 
burial  services. ^^ 

Chaplain  Harry  P.  Richmond,  a  Jewish  Rabbi,  remembered  his 
feelings  that  day  of  infamy.  He  heard  about  the  attack  on  the  radio  and 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

104  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

rushed  to  the  hospital  where,  "observing  patients;  some  on  stretchers  on 
the  floor,  others  on  white  sheets  in  beds,  you  knew  that  war,  with  all  its 
unspeakable  horror  and  terror  was  here  .  .  .  sooner  than  we  dared  to 
expect.  ...  It  was  time  for  action,  for  ministration,  for  help  to  those 
who  were  first  in  service  and  sacrifice  for  God  and  country."  ^^ 

The  War  Time  Chief 

Jorgensen  wrote  that  the  religious  program  in  the  Army  during  this 
unprecedented  period  of  challenge  was  headed  by  one  of  the  most  unusu- 
ally qualified  men  ever  to  serve  as  a  chaplain,  William  R.  Arnold.'' 
The  historical  record  of  his  accomplishments  demonstrated  the  accuracy 
of  that  evaluation. 

Arnold  was  born  10  June  1881  in  Wooster,  Ohio,'^  and  educated  at 
St.  Lawrence  School,  Muncie,  Indiana,  and  St.  Joseph's  College,  Rens- 
selaer, Indiana.  His  father  was  Swiss,  and  his  mother  Irish.  He  made  the 
track,  baseball,  and  football  teams  in  school,  and  learned  the  trade  of 
a  tobacco  stripper  from  his  father,  who  was  in  the  tobacco  business.  (As 
Chief  he  still  proudly  carried  his  union  card.)  He  also  worked  as  a  water 
carrier  for  men  toiling  on  the  railroads,  and  later  put  in  12-hour  days  in 
the  Muncie  steel  mills.  His  theological  training  was  accomplished  at  St. 
Bernard's  Seminary,  Rochester,  New  York.  He  was  ordained  a  Catholic 
priest  13  June  1908.  After  ordination  he  returned  to  Indiana  and  ful- 
filled a  secret  longing  by  becoming  a  clown  with  the  Hagenbeck-Wallace 
Circus  during  his  summer  vacation.  He  also  beat  the  bass  drum  in  the 
circus  parades. 

His  entry  into  the  service  was  not  carefully  planned,  at  least  on  his 
part.  The  Bishop  summoned  him  to  the  office. 

"How'd  you  like  to  be  a  soldier?"  his  Bishop  asked. 

"I  don't  know,"  Arnold  replied. 

"Well,  you'd  better  find  out,"  said  the  Bishop.  "I've  been  asked 
to  recommend  a  chaplain  and  you're  it."  ^^ 

He  was  commissioned  a  chaplain  (first  lieutenant)  on  8  April  1913. 
His  first  assignment  was  to  Fort  Washington,  Maryland,  where  he  served 
until  ordered  to  the  Philippines  in  1915.  He  then  served  at  Fort  Win- 
field  Scott,  California;  Camp  Taylor,  Kentucky — where  he  was  an  in- 
structor at  the  Chaplain  School ;  Fort  Hancock,  New  Jersey,  from  which 
he  was  sent  as  a  student  to  the  School  at  Fort  Wayne,  Michigan;  Fort 
Leavenworth,  where  he  became  the  Director  of  the  Chaplain  School. 
He  served  another  tour  in  the  Philippines,  and  returned  in  1931  to  Fort 
Bliss,  Texas,  where  he  was  Division  Chaplain,  1st  Cavalry  Division.  In 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


1937,  he  again  became  Director  of  the  Chaplain  School  (which  existed 
essentially  in  name  only )  at  Fort  Leavenworth ;  while  there  he  was  named 
Chief  of  Chaplains  in  that  same  year.  He  was  the  fifth  Chief,  the  first 
Catholic  Chief,  and  first  to  wear  the  stars  of  a  Brigadier  and  then  a 
Major  General.  He  served  eight  years  as  Chief  and  presided  over  the 
largest  number  of  chaplains  ever  to  wear  the  Army  uniform.^*^ 

A  biographer  described  him  as  big-framed,  tough-muscled,  graying- 
blonde,  with  the  mind  of  a  practical  fighting  man  and  the  heart  of  a 
Catholic  priest.  He  spoke  with  vigor,  certainty,  and  conviction.  "We 
are  at  war  with  pagans,  atheists,  and  Satan  himself,"  he  said.  He  re- 
minded his  chaplains  that  they  were  noncombatants,  and  should  do 
nothing  to  jeopardize  that  standing;  he  also  said,  ",  .  .  if  there  is  need 
for  him  to  defend  his  cause  or  himself  in  battle,  let  him  take  it  as  his  duty. 
A  dead  chaplain  is  no  good  to  his  men."  °' 

With  the  personality  of  a  leader,  and  the  ability  of  an  extremely 
competent  administrator,  he  regularly  wrote  articles  for  church  peri- 
odicals and  secular  magazines.  On  several  occasions,  in  his  unique  posi- 
tion as  the  ranking  pastor  of  the  Army,  he  addressed  the  country  on  a 
nationwide  radio  hookup.  He  was  fair-minded  and  far-seeing  in  his 
relations  with  the  many  denominations  in  the  country.  The  Christian 
Science  representative  commended  Arnold  for  his  cooperation  and  flex- 
ibility in  waiving  requirements  for  a  theological  degree  and  public  min- 
istry so  that  their  men  could  become  chaplains.  *Tt  was  pointed  out  by 
the  Committee  on  Publication  of  the  Mother  Church  that  Christian  Sci- 
ence has  no  seminary  and  no  ordained  ministers."  (The  Navy  was  inflex- 
ible on  this  point  and  only  one  Christian  Scientist  served  as  a  chaplain 
in  that  arm  during  World  War  H.)"^  Bishop  R.  Bland  Michell  of  the 
Protestant  Episcopal  Church  in  1941  quoted  someone  as  saying,  "If 
Chaplain  Arnold  had  been  in  charge  of  things  a  few  centuries  ago  there 
would  have  been  no  Reformation!"  And  the  Southern  Baptist  magazine. 
Commission,  said  of  him  in  November  1943,  "No  man  could  be  fairer 
or  more  impartial  in  his  dealing  with  men  representing  various  religious 
bodies."  '' 

Chaplain  Arnold  was  particularly  skilled  at  speaking  to  parents  in 
their  concern  for  the  spiritual  welfare  of  sons  and  daughters  in  service. 
In  the  popular  press  and  radio  he  assured  them  that  Army  chaplains 
would  do  the  job  entrusted  to  them.  He  w^as  joined  in  a  radio  address 
by  Army  Chief  of  Staff,  General  George  C.  Marshall,  who  said: 

"Our  corps  of  chaplains  ...  is  well  organized  and  will  be  adequately 
equipped  to  provide  religious  services  and  training  for  all  denomina- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

106  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

tions  similar  to  those  found  in  the  average  city  parish.  There  should  be 
no  fear  that  any  young  man  will  suffer  spiritual  loss  during  the  period 
of  his  military  service,  and  on  the  contrary,  we  hope  that  the  young  sol- 
dier will  return  to  his  home  with  a  keener  understanding  of  the  sacred 
ideals  for  which  our  churches  stand."  ^° 

In  1940  the  Secretary  of  War  asked  the  Chief  for  a  plan  to  meet 
the  spiritual  needs  of  the  Army  under  the  Selective  Service  Act.  Arnold 
mentioned  seven  points  that  were  to  be  of  importance  throughout  the 
war:  Procurement  and  Distribution  of  Chaplains;  Training;  Chapels; 
Cooperation  with  Church  Groups;  Publicity;  Cooperation  of  Military 

He  said  procurement  would  be  difficult  but  should  be  made  on  an 
equitable  basis  for  the  three  major  faith  groups.  He  advised  using  a  pool 
of  chaplains  to  meet  rapidly  changing  requirements.  This  was  established 
in  connection  with  the  chaplain  school.  But  the  need  was  so  critical  the 
"pool"  never  got  full  enough  to  be  of  much  value.  Under  training,  he 
mentioned  that  a  Plans  and  Training  Division  would  be  established  in 
his  office  and  that  the  Chaplain  School  would  be  reactivated  for  training 
new  chaplains.  He  said  cooperation  with  church  groups  was  an  important 
function  of  his  office,  not  only  in  procurement  of  chaplains  but  in  fur- 
thering the  entire  religious  program  of  the  Army.  Publicity  directed  to 
the  churches  and  the  general  public  should  promote  understanding  and 

In  pre-war  years  Arnold  protected  the  chaplaincy  from  the  Army. 
Next,  he  had  to  protect  it  from  the  church.  During  his  early  years  as 
Chief,  Arnold  insisted  that  the  role  of  the  chaplain  was  as  clergyman. 
He  emphasized  the  chaplain's  essential  role  as  a  man  of  God,  and  saw  to 
it  that  their  professional  status  was  protected  by  regulation  and  strict 
accountability  to  those  regulations  through  a  report  form  that  made  it 
glaringly  clear  when  a  chaplain  had  been  assigned  additional  duties  by 
a  recalcitrant  commander.  Early  in  the  war  Arnold  insisted  that  the 
religious  program  in  the  Army  should  be  under  the  direction  of  chap- 
lains. Paul  Moody,  a  reserve  chaplain  who  had  been  appointed  head 
of  the  General  Commission  on  Chaplains,  thought  that  he  would  be  in 
charge  of  chaplain  activities  even  as  Bishop  Brent,  a  civilian,  had  been 
in  World  War  I.  When  this  plan  was  brought  to  Arnold's  attention  by 
General  Marshall,  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  said,  "General,  you  have  a 
chaplain  organization."  That  settled  the  issue. 

In  World  War  I  prominent  civilian  ministers  were  sent  overseas  by 
civilian  agencies,  but  at  government  expense,  to  conduct  preaching  mis- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


sions.  Several  prominent  churchmen  tried  to  effect  this  same  program 
in  World  War  II,  but  Arnold  successfully  resisted  the  attempt  because 
it  would  have  removed  control  of  the  religious  program  from  the  Army 
to  an  outside  agency.  The  Chief's  office  approved  those  churchmen  who 
did  go. 

Supervisory  chaplains  were  appointed  at  theatre,  army,  corps,  and 
division  levels.  They  did  not  have  command  authority  but  supervised 
and  coordinated  chaplain  activities,  programs,  services,  coverage,  supply, 
and  assignments.  Keeping  the  chaplaincy  within  the  Army  structure 
was  one  of  the  significant  achievements  in  chaplain  history. 

Soon  after  he  became  Chief,  the  title  of  Monsignor  was  bestowed 
upon  him  by  the  Catholic  Church.  He  was  promoted  to  Brigadier  Gen- 
eral and  finally  to  Major  General.^^  In  April  1945  he  was  awarded  the 
Distinguished  Service  Medal  for  service  with  great  distinction  in  his 
8  year  tour  as  Chief;  he  was  also  designated  Assistant  Inspector  General 
with  duty  relating  to  religious  matters  in  the  Army.  His  church  then 
appointed  him  Military  Delegate  with  the  title  of  Bishop.^^ 

George  F.  Rixey  was  chosen  by  Arnold  to  be  his  Deputy  Chief  of 
Chaplains,  and  that  position  was  advanced  in  grade  to  Brigadier  Gen- 
eral during  the  war.  Rixey  was  a  line  officer  in  World  War  I,  and  then  a 
chaplain.  A  Methodist  with  a  wealth  of  experience,  abundant  energy 
and  a  keen  mind,  Rixey  was  an  effective  complement  to  Arnold.  Arnold 
was  succeeded  in  1945  by  Luther  D.  Miller,  and  Rixey  by  William  D. 

The  Chaplain  School  Reactivated 

The  Chaplain  School  at  Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas,  graduated  its 
last  class  in  1928.  By  1940  "all  that  was  left  of  the  Chaplain's  School  .  .  . 
was  the  name,  together  with  a  fund  of  $101.92,  two  hundred  pounds 
of  records,  a  library  of  fifteen  books,  and  ten  framed  pictures  of  past 
classes."^*  In  1939  concern  was  expressed  to  train  chaplains  for  a  pos- 
sibly imminent  wartime  ministry.  On  1 1  December  Major  General  H.  J. 
Brees  of  Fort  Sam  Houston,  Texas,  who  commanded  the  Eighth  Corps 
Area,  suggested  in  a  letter  to  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  that  new  chaplains 
be  given  "a  brief  course  of  instruction  upon  entry  into  the  service,  which 
would  tend  to  orient  them  and  give  them  a  more  practical  approach  to 
their  job  when  they  join  their  station."  ^"^  Correspondence  on  the  subject 
was  also  exchanged  with  the  Chief  of  the  National  Guard  Bureau,  the 
Secretary  of  War,  and  the  Adjutant  General.  A  plan  was  dra\vn  up  by 
Mr.  Bruce  Skaggs,  Chief  Clerk,  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains.  Two 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

108  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

days  after  Pearl  Harbor  the  Chief  requested  the  plan  be  put  into 

Fort  Benjamin  Harrison,  Indiana,  was  selected  as  the  site.  (Curiously 
the  order  read  "Fort  Benjamin  Franklin." ) '"  Chaplain  William  D.  Cleary 
of  Fort  Knox,  Kentucky,  the  Armored  Force  Chaplain,  was  selected  as 
the  first  commandant.  Cleary  was  born  in  Tipperary,  Ireland.  He 
graduated  from  the  Sorbonne  in  Paris,  and  the  College  des  Irlandais,  and 
was  ordained  to  the  priesthood  of  the  Catholic  Church  at  St.  Sulpice, 
Paris,  on  14  June  1908.  He  came  to  America  and  ministered  as  a  curate 
in  several  parishes  of  the  diocese  of  Brooklyn.  In  1918  he  volunteered  as 
a  chaplain,  served  in  both  the  United  States  and  with  the  AEF  in  Belgium 
and  France  and  accompanied  the  Army  of  Occupation  in  Germany. 
Twenty  years  of  service  followed,  including  two  tours  of  duty  in  the  Philip- 
pine Islands. 

On  12  January  1942  orders  were  issued  to  Chaplain  Cleary  and 
Chaplain  Herman  Riddle  Page,  who  was  selected  to  be  Secretary  of  the 
School,  to  proceed  to  Fort  Benjamin  Harrison.  Oscar  W.  Reynolds,  Paul 
B.  Rupp,  Mylon  D.  Merchant,  and  Ralph  C.  Deibert  were  the  chaplains 
assigned  as  instructors.  On  2  February  1942  the  school  was  activated. 
Seventy-five  chaplains  were  in  the  first  class.  The  sessions  ran  28  days, 
with  200  hours  of  instruction  in  military  organization,  customs  and 
courtesies,  military  law,  graves  registration,  first  aid,  military  administra- 
tion, chaplain  activities,  and  other  subjects.  (Complete  schedule  at 
Appendix  D.)  Outdoor  periods  included  calisthenics,  dismounted  drill, 
gas  mask  drill,  and  outdoor  map  orientation.  "Take  cover!"  became  a 
familiar  warning  during  hikes  and  meant  that  everyone  "hit  the  dirt" 
as  though  in  an  actual  air  raid.^^ 

The  school  was  officially  designated  the  "Chaplain  School"  rather 
than  the  "Chaplain's  School"  on  1  April  1942.  Only  four  sessions  were 
held  in  Indiana.  Expanded  mission  requirements  outgrew  the  facilities 
there,  and  several  universities  offered  to  house  the  school;  Harvard's 
offer  was  accepted.  The  school  graduated  its  last  class  in  Indiana  on  10 
August  1942  and  began  operation  in  Massachusetts  2  days  later.  The 
chaplains  were  housed  in  Perkins  Hall.  The  Government  paid  the  uni- 
versity about  $10.50  for  each  student  who  used  the  facilities.  Being  a  part 
of  historic  Harvard  University  was  itself  a  privilege.  Each  day  the  students 
passed  the  spot  where,  in  an  earlier  day,  the  president  of  the  college,  a 
militia  chaplain,  led  the  troops  in  prayer  on  their  way  to  fortify  Bunker 
Hill.  Drill  was  held  on  Soldiers'  Field,  remembered  in  Lowell's  stirring 
"Commemoration  Ode."  On  their  way  to  classes  they  passed  along  a 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


street  bearing  the  name  of  a  distinguished  chaplain  of  the  Revolution, 
between  buildings  where  Washington  quartered  his  men  and  past  the 
church  in  which  he  worshipped.  Assemblies  were  held  in  the  building 
dedicated  to  the  memory  of  Harvard  Civil  War  dead.  Distinguished  vis- 
itors to  Harvard,  while  the  School  was  there,  included  the  Duke  of  Wind- 
sor, Prime  Minister  Sir  Winston  Churchill,  and  military  leaders  of  the 
United  States  and  allied  nations. 

From  75  students  per  session  to  450  required  a  large  increase  in 
faculty.  Sixteen  additional  chaplain  instructors  were  added  to  the  school. 
Cleary  remained  Commandant  for  most  of  the  war,  and  went  on  to 
become  the  second  Deputy  Chief  of  Chaplains.  In  the  spring  of  1942 
Chaplain  Page  was  elected  to  succeed  his  late  father  as  Protestant  Epis- 
copal Bishop  of  Northern  Michigan  and  left  the  Army.  Temporary  mem- 
berships were  made  available  to  faculty  members  of  the  Chaplain  School 
in  both  the  Faculty  Club  of  Harvard  University  and  the  famed  Hasty 
Pudding  Club-Institute  of  1770.  The  noted  organist  E.  Power  Biggs 
rendered  a  half  hour  organ  recital  each  Sunday  morning  on  the  baroque 
organ  at  Germanic  Museum.  All  in  all,  it  was  a  cultural  and  social  high 
water  mark  for  the  Chaplain  School. 

Unlike  the  Training  School  for  Chaplains  and  approved  Chaplain 
Candidates  of  the  First  World  War,  the  weeding  out  of  undesirable 
officers  was  not  made  a  function  of  the  World  War  II  Chaplain  School. 
In  defining  his  poHcy  in  this  regard  the  Chief  declared :  "The  primary 
purpose  of  the  Chaplain  School  is  to  train  chaplains.  Any  undesirable 
officers  attending  .  .  .  should  be  reported  to  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  with 
appropriate  recommendation  relative  to  their  discharge." 

Pathe  News  shot  a  film,  "The  Army  Chaplain,"  at  the  school  under 
the  supervision  of  Chaplain  Ralph  C.  Deibert.  Sequences  depicted  the 
training  of  Army  chaplains  and  used  the  class,  faculty,  and  staff  found 
there  in  December  1942.  Rapid  growth  made  for  some  initial  awkward- 
ness— six  men  were  sometimes  assigned  to  rooms  meant  to  house  two; 
incoming  classes  overlapped  outgoing  classes.  By  the  summer  of  1943 
things  were  going  smoothly  and  the  length  of  the  sessions  was  increased 
to  five,  then  six  weeks.  Twenty-one  sessions  were  held  at  Harvard.  During 
1944  the  attendance  decreased  to  less  than  200.  As  military  installations 
came  to  be  less  crowded,  a  decision  was  made  to  move  the  school  to  an 
Army  post  and  stop  paying  rent  to  a  civilian  institution.  In  August  1944 
the  school  was  transferred  to  Fort  Devens,  Massachusetts,  which  made 
possible  such  realistic  training  as  ship-to-shore  landing  and  passage 
through  an  infiltration  course.  In  July  1945  another  move  was  made,  this 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

110  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

time  to  Fort  Oglethorpe,  Georgia,  where  the  Services  of  Supply  were  con- 
centrating their  schools.  There  the  school  remained  for  more  than  a  year. 
Though  each  location  had  its  advantages,  summer  heat  in  Georgia  proved 
to  be  as  real  an  impediment  to  training  activities  as  the  snow  and  frost  of 
a  Massachusetts  winter.*^^ 

During  the  first  sessions  of  the  school,  chaplains  were  so  urgently 
needed  for  duty  with  troops  that  men  considered  too  old  for  such  service 
were  chosen  as  instructors.  Only  one  chaplain  on  the  first  faculty  was 
less  than  56  years  of  age.  Most  of  them  were  without  combat  experience 
since  1918,  but  some  men  from  combat  areas  became  instructors  during 
the  second  year.  An  attempt  was  made  to  have  a  member  of  each  large 
denomination  represented  on  the  faculty,  and  upon  his  transfer,  a  suc- 
cessor was  chosen  from  the  same  denomination. 

There  were  8,302  chaplains  enrolled  in  the  35  sessions  of  the  school 
before  the  end  of  1945  and  8,183  of  them  graduated.  Of  the  119  who 
did  not  complete  the  course,  55  were  ordered  away  before  the  end  of 
the  first  session.  Some  of  the  remaining  64  failed  because  of  sickness  or 
other  emergency,  but  50  were  unsuccessful  chiefly  for  academic  reasons. 
A  chaplain  of  the  Free  French  and  three  from  the  Philippine  Army  took 
the  course.  In  1943  an  advanced  course  was  scheduled  to  train  chaplains 
with  experience  for  supervisory  positions.®^  Chaplain  Honeywell  wrote: 

"One  of  the  most  striking  features  of  the  wartime  schools  was  the 
indiscriminate  mingling  of  clergymen  of  many  and  diverse  groups  in 
preparation  for  common  task  of  religious  ministry.  This  can  be  appre- 
ciated only  against  the  background  of  misunderstanding,  distrust,  and 
rivalry  which  has  stimulated  and  perpetuated  the  divisions  among  re- 
ligious groups.  The  close  association  of  students  living  and  working  to- 
gether brought  a  more  adequate  mutual  understanding  of  beliefs  and 
practices,  of  aims  and  motives.  To  some  this  better  acquaintance  was 
a  revelation."  '° 

How  efTective  was  the  training?  Hubert  A.  Allenby  wrote :  "My  ex- 
periences at  the  Chaplain  School  have  been  a  source  of  unfailing  help  .... 
Kindly  say  to  all  that  we  are  by  far  better  chaplains  for  their  teaching 
in  a  month,  than  we  could  have  been  in  years  without  their  help."  Alpha 
H.  Kenna  said,  'T  profited  greatly  by  the  four  weeks  spent  in  the  Chaplain 
School  and  I  am  grateful  for  having  had  the  opportunity  to  attend.  You 
who  direct  the  school  cannot  know  just  how  important  your  work  really 
is.  You  would  have  to  be  in  the  field  to  observe  the  difference  in  the  work 
of  the  man  who  has  had  no  training  at  the  Chaplain  School  and  the  work 
of  that  same  man  after  he  has  completed  the  course."  Wright  T.  Moore 

See  footnotes  at  end   of  chapter. 


said,  "I  hope  you  will  not  consider  me  presumptuous  in  stating  an  opinion. 
I  believe  that  you  have  a  very  fine  faculty,  well  selected  and  well  trained 
for  a  most  difficult  task."  Another,  Edward  J.  Mattson,  wrote:  "They  are 
men  of  excellent  qualification.  They  are  doing  a  fine  job."  "^ 

Additional  Training 

Different  combat  arms  have  distinctiv^e  psychological  problems 
which  affect  the  chaplain's  work.  This  was  true  especially  of  the  Army 
Air  Corps,  where  fighting  conditions  sometimes  "tended  toward 
recklessness  or  a  degree  of  fatalism,"  according  to  Air  Force  historian 
Jorgensen.  The  Chaplain  School  allowed  little  time  to  cover  such  matters, 
so  the  Air  Corps  opened  its  own  school  at  San  Antonio,  Texas,  in  June 
1944;  it  gave  two  weeks  of  special  training  to  chaplains  who  graduated 
from  the  Chaplain  School  and  were  selected  for  duty  with  air  personnel. 
A  parallel  course  was  designed  for  enlisted  men  who  \vere  to  serve  as 
chaplains'  assistants.  Twenty-two  sessions  were  held  and  1,089  chaplains 
attended.  Completion  of  the  course  was  a  prerequisite  for  assignment 
overseas.  Twenty  sessions  of  the  enlisted  course  were  held  and  all  but  6 
of  the  945  students  completed  the  course.  Seventy-four  were  members  of 
the  Women's  Army  Corps.'"  (Additional  Air  Corps  developments  affect- 
ing the  chaplaincy  are  dealt  with  in  the  next  chapter. ) 

From  1940  on  there  was  a  renewed  interest  in  decentralized  train- 
ing. Chaplains  near  Boston  met  at  Fort  Banks  every  Tuesday  morning 
for  10  weeks  in  the  summer  of  1942.  One  division  provided  two  hours 
of  instruction  on  Tuesdays  and  Thursdays  for  two  months.  Many  of  the 
schools  on  scattered  installations  used  the  Extension  Course  material  after 
correspondence  work  was  suspended  early  in  1942. 

A  school  at  Camp  Blanding  used  imagination  in  its  1942  session. 
The  school  ended  with  an  exercise  in  which  all  chaplains  were  provided 
maps  and  other  equipment  and  required  to  coordinate  their  activities  to 
actual  troop  movements  and  terrain.  A  salvage  depot,  collecting  station, 
and  provost  marshal's  post  were  established.  Soldiers,  tagged  to  indicate 
a  variety  of  simulated  wounds,  were  posted  through  a  wide  area,  and  the 
chaplains  were  required  to  find  them  and  give  proper  treatment  and 
disposition  to  all.  This  involved  selecting  a  site  and  laying  out  a  cemetery. 
Elements  of  play  thrown  in  for  good  measure  included  evidence  that  some 
men  were  attempting  to  desert,  and  a  gas  alarm  in  the  midst  of  opera- 
tions. The  final  requirement  was  that  chaplains  submit  burial  reports 
and  letters  of  condolence." ^ 

The  Chaplain's  Manual,  first  published  in  1926,  was  reissued  in  1937 
and  1941  by  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  Office.  It  was  rewritten  in  1944. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

112  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Honeywell  commented,  "As  the  great  majority  both  of  chaplains  and 
soldiers  had  been  in  the  service  too  short  a  time  for  their  civilian  view- 
point to  be  radically  changed,  the  manual  was  written  by  a  Reserve 
chaplain  with  long  experience  in  education  in  the  belief  that  he  would 
understand  the  mind  of  the  citizen  soldier."  '* 

The  Jumpers 

The  parachute  padres  of  World  War  II  were  something  of  a  "new 
breed"  in  the  chaplaincy.  The  training  they  received  in  Jump  School  was 
physically  punishing  and  exhausting.  The  fact  that  they  were  chaplains 
got  them  special  treatment — in  the  wrong  direction !  Every  sergeant  who 
ever  sat  through  a  dull  sermon  felt  called  upon  to  even  the  score;  while 
the  hazing  was  good  natured  and  well  intentioned,  the  extra  ache  in  the 
muscles  was  just  as  real  as  if  the  design  were  malevolent.  Stories  about 
training,  running,  being  dragged  by  a  chute,  learning  parachute  landing 
falls,  and  pushups  by  the  score,  were  revealed  in  several  books  and  articles 
which  remain  entertaining  and  informative." 

The  story  is  told,  perhaps  apocryphal,  that  when  Ike  visited  the 
paratroopers  before  their  drop  into  Normandy,  he  asked  a  young  soldier, 
"Do  you  like  jumping  out  of  airplanes?"  "No  sir."  came  the  instant 
response.  "Then  why  do  you  do  it?"  Without  hesitation  the  trooper  re- 
plied, "Because  I  like  being  around  people  who  like  jumping  out  of  air- 
planes." Young,  reckless  volunteers  needed  chaplains  too;  the  men  with 
crosses  on  their  helmets  joined  them. 

Flying  magazine  credits  Chaplain  (CPT)  Raymond  S.  Hall  with 
being  the  first  airborne  chaplain.  He  took  the  regular  five  week  training 
course,  "and  started  the  practice  of  having  chaplains  jump  with  their 
troops."  '"  Hall  was  a  former  rector  of  St.  John's  Episcopal  Church  of 
Lowell,  Massachusetts.  In  answer  to  a  reporter's  "Why?"  he  replied,  "It 
increases  attendance  at  church,  and  the  men  can  talk  to  me  now."  There 
was  a  bond  among  those  who  wore  wings.  To  really  belong  the  chaplain 
had  to  jump. 

"This  is  our  chaplain"  said  a  young  paratrooper  at  Fort  Bragg, 
North  Carolina.  The  chaplain  was  CathoHc,  the  parents  of  the  soldier 
Methodist,  and  he  himself  was  not  affiliated  with  any  church.  But  the 
chaplain  was  still  his  chaplain. 

"...  A  chaplain,  in  the  total  institutional  environment  of  the  military, 
serves  the  entire  military  society  rather  than  those  of  his  own  denomina- 
tion alone.  This  is  perhaps  the  most  important  difference  between  any 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


institutional  chaplaincy  and  the  parochial  ministry  to  a  congregation 
of  a  particular  denomination,"  wrote  Richard  G.  Hutcheson.' ' 

Donald  R.  Burgett,  a  young  private,  remembered  his  days  at  Ben- 
ning  on  the  drop  zone.  Havang  "successfully"  completed  his  jump  he 
was  limping  along  toward  the  trucks  when  someone  yelled,  "Look  out!" 
Almost  overhead  a  man  came  hurling  down  with  an  unopened  chute;  it 
was  pulled  out  of  the  pack  tray,  but  remained  closed.  The  jumper  hit  the 
ground  a  few  yards  away  with  a  sound  like  a  large  mattress  going 
floomp.  Burgett  went  over  to  him  and  nearly  fell  over  when  the  man 
opened  his  eyes  and  asked,  "What  happened?" 

"Your  chute  didn't  open,"  Burgett  said. 

"You're  kidding.  Help  me  up,  I've  got  to  get  going,"  the  man  said. 

"You're  not  going  anywhere,"  a  sergeant  replied  as  a  jeep  pulled  up, 
"except  to  a  hospital,"  The  man  protested  that  he  had  another  jump  that 
night.  He  tried  to  get  up,  but  could  only  raise  his  head,  then  let  it  fall 
back.  Then  Burgett  noticed  crosses  on  his  collar.  "Who  else  but  a  chap- 
plain  could  fall  a  thousand  feet  with  an  unopened  chute  and  live?  He 
had  suffered  a  broken  leg  and  internal  injuries,  but  just  how  bad  I 
never  did  find  out."  '^ 

If  one  chaplain  came  down  without  a  chute,  another  had  a  chute 
but  didn't  come  down.  Alfred  J.  Guenette,  formerly  of  the  faculty  of 
Assumption  College,  Worcester,  Massachusetts,  made  a  training  jiftnp 
with  the  Airborne  Command  at  Camp  Mackall,  near  Pinehurst,  North 
Carolina ;  with  a  detail  of  troops,  he  attempted  a  jump  from  an  aircraft 
over  the  Sandhills  area.  "His  parachute  pack  caught  on  the  door  of  the 
plane,  and  he  was  held  fast  about  a  foot  and  a  half  below  the  door."  The 
men  inside  the  plane  didn't  know  about  it,  but  other  pilots  saw  him, 
radioed,  and  he  was  pulled  inside;  uninjured,  he  jumped  again  the  next 

The  Army  Builds  Chapels 

During  the  unprecedented  mobilization  for  World  War  II  the  Army 
secured  many  things  it  had  done  without.  Of  the  160  posts  that  needed 
chapels  only  1 7  had  them  prior  to  mobilization.  In  twenty-two  years  only 
$969,542  was  spent  for  chapels  in  the  Regular  Army.  When  church  call 
sounded  the  men  marched  for  services  to  theaters,  mess  halls,  recreation 
buildings,  tents,  the  parade  ground  or  a  clearing  in  the  woods;  in  some 
cases  they  built  chapels  for  themselves  out  of  donated,  salvaged,  and 
scrounged  materials. 

President  Roosevelt  signed  congressional  bill  HR-3617,  Public  13, 
on  17  March  1941.  It  authorized  construction  of  new  chapels  at  a  previ- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

114  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

ously  undreamed  of  rate.  The  pen  used  was  presented  to  the  Chief  of 
Chaplains.  It  was  Arnold,  George  F.  Rixey,  John  F.  Monaham,  and  A.S. 
Goodyear  who  came  up  with  a  master  plan  to  build  604  chapels  at  a  cost 
of  $12,816,880  within  six  months.*"  (BuiU  to  be  temporary  and  known 
as  "cantonment"  or  "mobilization"  regimental  chapels,  many  are  still  in 
use  and  emotional  attachment  to  them  was  deep  and  real.  There  are  few 
chaplains  who  never  used  one  of  these  buildings  in  their  ministry  to 
troops  and  dependents.  One  at  Fort  Benning,  Georgia,  was  specifically 
designated  of  historical  significance  and  to  be  preserved  with 
Bi-centennial  funds.*')  At  the  time,  the  chapels  gave  a  real  shot  in  the 
arm  to  the  chaplains,  enabling  them  to  have  permanent  places  in  which 
to  develop  a  full  religious  program. 

Simple  dignity  marked  the  outward  apearance  of  the  chapel;  the 
construction  was  of  clapboard  on  a  wooden  framework,  set  on  a  concrete 
foundation.  Built  with  a  slanting  roof  whose  peak  was  29  feet  6  inches 
high,  the  chapel  was  equipped  with  a  steeple  rising  23  feet  above  the 
roof.  The  building  proper  was  95  feet  7  inches  long  and  37  feet  wide. 

The  interior  was  equally  simple  and  attractive.  The  pews  accommo- 
dated 300  downstairs  and  were  built  with  slat  backs  and  folding  kneeling 
benches.  The  balcony,  which  seated  an  additional  57  worshippers  or  could 
be  used  for  the  choir,  contained  an  electric  organ. 

The  altar  attracted  the  most  attention.  Designed  to  serve  all  faiths,  it 
was  movable  and  constructed  to  be  adaptable  to  Protestant,  Catholic, 
and  Jewish  services.  Incorporated  in  the  wall  above  it  was  an  Ark  to  hold 
the  Jewish  Book  of  the  Law.  All  of  this  was  an  innovation  in  Army 
chapels.  The  Quartermaster  General,  Edmund  B.  Gregory,  said  at  the 
dedication  of  the  first  cantonment  chapel :  "There  is  nothing  in  construc- 
tion that  could  stamp  it  as  so  distinctively  American  as  this  altar,  because 
only  in  a  free  country  could  you  find  a  church  built  to  be  used  for  worship 
by  Catholic,  Protestant  and  Jew  alike."  *^ 

The  first  chapel  in  the  building  program  was  constructed  at  Arling- 
ton Cantonment,  in  a  thinned-out  apple  orchard ;  it  centered  on  and  faced 
the  Tomb  of  the  Unknown  Soldier.  The  initiatory  Ceremony  was  held  on 
27  July  1941  and  was  attended  by  General  Marshall,  Chaplain  Arnold, 
Major  General  Gregory,  and  other  notables.  The  ceremony  was  broadcast 
over  a  nation-wide  hookup  by  the  Columbia  Broadcasting  Company. 
Wide  publicity  in  the  press  followed.  The  question  in  the  minds  of  many 
anxious  mothers  and  fathers  was :  "What  will  the  Army  do  to  my  son  in 
terms  of  his  faith?"  The  building  of  the  chapels  and  publicity  about  them 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


were  intended  to  give  a  positive  answer.  Marshall  said,  "We  are  deter- 
mined to  have  a  clean  army,  morally  and  physically,  and  these  chapels  are 
a  contribution  to  that  end."  Gregory  said,  ".  .  .  no  matter  how  well  a  man 
is  fed  and  clothed  or  trained,  he  cannot  be  a  real  soldier  unless  he  has 
within  him  a  sincere  belief  in  the  way  of  living  of  the  nation  which  he 
represents.  Nothing  \vill  contribute  more  to  that  belief  than  the  oppor- 
tunity for  every  man  to  worship  as  he  chooses."  ^^ 

To  these  chapels  men  could  come  for  counseling,  and  at  odd  hours, 
for  private  devotions.  Lonely  soldiers  sought  permission  to  play  the  piano 
and  organ,  and  spontaneous  hymn  singing  helped  many  a  young  man 
through  periods  of  loneliness  and  discouragement.  These  white  wooden 
chapels  so  resembled  the  little  country  churches  dotting  the  American 
scene  that  they  were  readily  recognizable  in  a  new  environment.  They 
drew  men  like  a  familiar  magnet. 

In  addition  to  the  cantonment  or  mobilization  chapels,  smaller  posts 
and  organizations  got  combined  theaters,  recreation  buildings  and 
chapels.  They  were  designed  for  stations  with  from  300  to  1,000  troops. 
Another  type  \vhich  served  as  theater  and  chapel  was  designed  for 
installations  with  1,000  to  2,500  troops.  (The  cantonment  was  for  regi- 
ments or  units  of  3,000. ) 

A  simpler  version,  known  as  the  theater-of-operations  type,  was  built 
overseas.  It  measured  20  by  100  feet  and  was  built  at  an  average  cost  of 
$7,000.  By  V-J  Day  there  were  1,532  Army  chapels  in  use  in  the  United 
States.  This  number  included  145  of  the  chapel-theater  buildings  and  a 
number  of  permanent  structures.  There  were  162  of  the  theater-of-opera- 
tions chapels  and  1 , 1 3  7  of  the  mobilization  type  located  at  43  7  camps.  The 
total  cost  of  1,299  buildings  intended  only  for  use  as  chapels  ^vas 

These  were  the  official  government  funded  chapels.  The  unofficial 
chapels  built  by  the  men  overseas  were  often  triumphs  of  ingenuity  and 
hard  work.  Pews  were  made  from  cocoanut  plams  cut  into  logs  on  the 
ground.  Packing  cases  formed  pulpits,  mattress  covers  draped  the  altars, 
the  roofs  were  often  made  of  thatch,  bamboo,  corrugated  tin,  salvaged 
lumber,  or  the  spreading  arms  of  standing  trees.  Reportedly,  the  men 
showed  greater  interest  in  the  chapels  they  helped  build.  Altar  appoint- 
ments were  made  from  shell  casings,  bomb  fins,  and  other  implements  of 
war.  Many  a  dedication  service  included  the  scripture:  "They  shall  beat 
their  swords  into  plowshares,  and  their  spears  into  pruning  hooks.  .  .  ." 
(Isaiah  2:4.) 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

116  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Chaplains  of  World  War  II  indicated  that  usually  they  had  a  chapel 
in  the  United  States,  but  almost  never  once  they  were  abroad.  Kenneth  W. 
Fristoe  tells  of  building  a  thatched  roof  chapel  in  the  jungles  of  New 
Guinea  with  the  help  of  "Fuzzy  Wuzzy"  natives,  and  dedicating  it  on 
Mother's  Day  with  an  attendance  of  over  400.  Gerhard  L.  Belgum  wrote 
of  building  a  chapel  in  Recreation  Park,  Long  Beach,  California,  ".  .  .  in 
one  day  with  Carpenter's  Union  assistance."  Kenneth  L.  Ames  wrote 
about  "Arabs  and  jackasses  strolling  through  morning  worship"  and 
Christmas  eve  communion  services  in  a  vault  below  an  old  castle  in  Italy. 
John  R.  Himies  told  of  remembering  "services  in  a  barn  in  Holland  with 
the  altar  on  the  back  of  a  manure  spreader.  (It  was  clean.)"  He  also 
recalled  going  "from  company  to  company,  platoon  to  platoon  in 
Bastogne,  nailing  a  crucifix  to  a  tree  for  church,  hymnals  and  scripture 
in  my  big  pockets,  scarf  on  my  neck,  and  having  church  for  the  Protestants 
while  the  Catholics  kept  watch.  (The  Protestants  returned  the  favor  for 
the  Catholics.)  One  Sunday  and  Monday  I  had  twenty-seven  services."  ^^ 
In  Italy  a  chaplain  used  a  stable.  Other  inspiring  services  were  reported  as 
held  in  wine  cellars,  an  attic,  a  railroad  station,  a  royal  palace,  a  cave,  and 
under  the  sky.  Chaplains  were  often  welcomed  to  churches  in  the  countries 
where  American  troops  found  themselves.  Examples  are  St.  Paul's  of 
London  and  the  Cathedral  of  Reykjavik.  Chaplain  James  L.  Blakeney, 
a  nonconformist  minister,  broke  a  900  year-old  tradition  when  he 
preached  Westminster  Abbey  on  Thanksgiving  Day  1942.  He  was  assisted 
in  the  service  by  Furman  E.  Jordan  and  Maurice  W.  Reynolds.^^ 

Unusual  worship  sites  were  so  numerous  that  they  became  the  norm. 
In  Miami  Beach,  Army  Service  schools  were  located  in  275  hotels;  a 
Sunday  School  was  established  in  the  gambling  casino  of  the  Cromwell 
Hotel ;  church  services  were  held  on  the  golf  course,  in  theaters,  and  at 
Flamingo  Park,  with  attendance  from  five  to  ten  thousand  at  the  Park.^' 

Publicity  of  a  sort  was  given  to  a  "converted"  chapel  at  Will  Rogers 
Field.  Oklahoma  City,  Oklahoma.  Chaplain  Filing  E.  Ramsey  discovered 
that  there  was  no  chapel  and  no  materials  immediately  available  to  build 
one.  He  got  permission  to  use  a  discarded  corn  crib  and  an  old  chicken 
coop  which  were  revamped  by  the  men  into  a  simple  but  serviceable 
chapel.  Robert  L.  Ripley,  of  "Believe  It  or  Not"  fame,  visited  the  field 
in  1943  and  was  so  impressed  with  the  job  done  that  he  featured  it  in  a 
syndicated  cartoon  carried  by  newspapers  all  over  the  world.^^ 

Edward  R.  Fitzgerald  built  a  chapel  at  Greenlawn  Common,  Eng- 
land, from  the  crates  in  which  gliders  were  shipped.  When  asked  what 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


he  would  name  it,  he  quipped,  "St.  Dismas.  Everything  in  it  has  been 
stolen." '' 

Howard  Foran  reported  that  his  chapel  was  not  a  thing  of  outward 
beauty;  nevertheless,  he  enjoyed  good  attendance.  His  colonel  asked, 
"Chaplain,  how  do  you  get  so  many  men  at  services?"  The  answer  was, 
"My  shoes  wear  out  faster  than  my  pants."  ''°  That  conversation  illu- 
strated the  prevailing  view  among  chaplains  and  their  congregations. 
Content  was  more  important  than  form,  basics  did  not  depend  on  ac- 
coutrements. Worship  existed  where  two  or  three  gathered  together. 
General  Marshall  was  concerned  that  chaplains  have  the  proper  equip- 
ment to  do  their  job  but  he  also  said,  "A  good  chaplain  does  not  require 
a  church;  a  poor  one  will  empty  a  cathedral."  ^'  The  annual  reports  of 
attendance  figures  from  the  Chief's  office  testified  that  there  were  indeed 
"good"  chaplains  on  the  job. 

Wartime  Ministry — Defensive  Phase 

What  happened  in  the  Army  created  the  setting  for  the  chaplains' 
ministry.  After  the  period  of  rapid  build  up,  the  Pearl  Harbor  attack  and 
early  reversals  in  the  Pacific,  the  Army  was  in  a  defensive  posture  before 
it  could  move  to  an  offensive  stance.  It  was  a  training  Army,  an  enlarging 
and  preparing  Army  before  it  could  be  a  fighting  Army.  A  brief  look  at 
the  military  situation  helps  focus  the  historical  picture  in  which  the 
ministry  of  chaplains  was  performed. 

The  Arcadia  Conference  in  late  December  1941  involved  President 
Roosevelt,  Prime  Minister  Churchill,  and  their  advisors.  They  faced  a 
most  disheartening  global  picture.  In  less  than  three  weeks  after  Pearl 
Harbor  the  Japanese  won  Wake  and  Guam,  Hong  Kong  was  over- 
whelmed, and  Malaya,  Netherlands  Indies,  and  the  fortress  of  Singa- 
pore were  threatened.  On  the  western  front  there  was  fear  that  the 
Soviets  would  collapse  within  the  year,  and  the  British  position  in  the 
Middle  East  was  a  question  mark.  In  this  difficult  situation  the  allied 
leaders  made  a  decision  that  shaped  the  future  conduct  of  the  war;  the 
main  effort  was  to  be  directed  toward  the  defeat  of  Germany;  Japan 
would  come  later.  Operations  in  1942  would  be  defensive  and  prepara- 
tory. Not  until  1943  could  the  allies  plan  a  return  to  the  European  conti- 
nent ;  as  it  turned  out,  that  plan  was  postponed.^" 

Desperate  efforts  were  made  to  bolster  the  defense  of  Hawaii,  the 
Philippines,  the  Panama  Canal,  Alaska,  and  the  U.S.  west  coast.  How- 
ever, the  Philippines,  Burma,  Malaya,  Thailand,  French  Indochina  and 
the  Malay  Archipelago  fell  to  Japanese  forces  by  6  May  1942.^'  Plans 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684   O  -  78  -  9 

118  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

shifted  to  the  defense  of  Austraha  in  the  Pacific.  The  Battle  of  Midway 
in  June  1942  was  one  of  the  most  decisive  engagements  of  the  war.  Two 
months  later  American  forces  shifted  from  defense  to  offense  by  landing 
on  Guadalcanal.  Despite  Arcadia's  "Germany  first"  decision,  60  percent 
of  the  Army  troops  overseas  were  in  the  Pacific  and  the  China-Burma- 
India  theatre  in  July  1942. 

On  the  other  front,  troops  were  deployed  to  Iceland  and  Ireland. 
Not  until  August  was  the  U.S.  Army  Air  Force  in  the  British  Isles  strong 
enough  to  fly  a  single  independent  bombing  mission  over  Northern  France. 
Early  plans  for  an  invasion  of  Europe  across  the  channel  were  shelved 
in  order  to  give  logistical  aid  to  the  British  in  Egypt;  then  the  invasion 
of  North  Africa,  which  marked  the  end"  of  the  defensive  phase  in  the 
European  Theater,  delayed  the  Normandy  invasion  for  another  year.^* 
Training,  preparation  and  limited  deployment  characterized  the  first  year 
of  the  war  for  the  Army.  It  was  in  this  setting  that  chaplains  ministered. 

Some  seminarians  have  been  introduced  to  the  concept  of  "occa- 
sional ministry,"  i.e.,  ministry  determined  by  the  occasion  in  which  one 
finds  oneself.  From  reports,  diaries,  questionnaires,  and  printed  articles 
it  was  clear  that  the  majority  of  chaplains  in  this  period  considered  them- 
selves primarily  clergymen  in  uniform.  They  preached,  baptized,  prayed, 
observed  the  Lord's  Supper,  conducted  weddings  and  funerals,  made 
pastoral  visits  to  the  sick  and  the  jailed,  and  counseled  the  troubled.  These 
were  their  main  duties.  But  the  unusual  "occasions"  in  which  they  found 
themselves  shaped  their  ministeries  in  ways  unknown  to  their  civilian 

The  absence  of  families  as  it  affected  religious  education  programs; 
the  transience  of  military  worshippers ;  daily  close  contact  with  troops  in 
all  their  activities;  the  young  age  of  some  soldiers  (Edward  L.  Elson 
claimed  the  first  all-teenage  division  of  draftees)  ;  ^^  and  the  problems  of 
older  men  uprooted  from  families  and  careers ;  the  danger  and  loneliness 
of  war;  the  reality  that  one  cannot  practice  for  emergencies,  but  must 
react  without  previous  experience  as  a  guide;  all  were  factors  that  con- 
tributed to  the  concept  of  ministering  to  the  occasion.  Awareness  of  these 
factors  led  John  R.  Himes  to  say  of  his  preaching  in  the  Army,  "Any 
sermon  which  does  not  make  at  attempt  to  speak  to  the  congregation 
where  it  is,  is  either  stupid  or  dishonest."  ^^  The  mountain  climber  who 
responded  that  he  climbed  a  mountain  because  it  was  there  voiced  the 
feelings  of  many  a  chaplain;  they  did  what  they  did  because  they  were 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


After  Pearl  Harbor  the  chaplains  in  the  Philippines  were  the  first  to 
face  sustained  combat  with  their  men.  On  8  December,  150  Japanese 
planes  bombed  Pampanga  for  two  hours.  While  the  airfield  was  bombed 
and  strafed,  Chaplain  Joseph  V.  LaFleur  went  among  the  wounded  and 
dying  to  offer  prayer  and  help  get  them  to  the  hospital.  He  stayed  on 
Bataan  with  his  men.  With  750  other  American  prisoners,  he  was  crowded 
into  two  holds  of  a  Japanses  ship.  At  sea  the  ship  was  hit  by  two  torpedoes. 
The  Japanese  tried  to  kill  the  survivors.  Lieutenant  Joseph  Coe  reported 
that  the  last  he  saw  of  La  Fleur,  the  chaplain  was  helping  wounded  men 
get  out  of  the  hold  and  on  the  deck.  The  Japanese  shot  at  them  and  only 
two  or  three  survived.  La  Fleur  died  as  he  lived,  serving  his  men.®' 

Chaplains  Leslie  Zimmerman,  John  F.  Duffy,  Matthew  Zerbas,  John 
A.  Wilson,  Alfred  C.  Oliver,  Ralph  W.  Brown,  John  K.  Bomeman  and 
Robert  P.  Taylor  were  among  those  who  distinguished  themselves  by 
heroism  in  the  first  days  of  the  war.®^  Bomeman  went  through  dangerous 
lines  to  Manila  at  least  twice  before  it  fell  to  the  enemy,  in  order  to  get 
messages  from  his  men  to  their  families.  Brown,  under  fire,  earned  a  Dis- 
tinguished Service  Cross  for  carrying  the  wounded  from  under  the  nose 
of  the  enemy.  He  said,  "We  made  it  to  the  hospital.  I  didn't  think  par- 
ticularly about  it  until  the  thing  was  over.  It  was  a  job  to  be  done."  That 
note  was  sounded  again  and  again  by  chaplains  all  over  the  world.  Time 
magazine  reported  that  Taylor  "gave  the  most  recent  superb  example  of 
a  chaplain's  courage  ...  in  braving  machine  gun  fire  to  rescue  the 
wounded."  ®®  With  the  fall  of  Corregidor  and  Bataan,  21  chaplains  be- 
came prisoners  of  the  Japanese;  within  weeks,  the  total  was  32."° 

The  ministry  among  American  prisoners  of  war  in  the  Pacific  was 
characterized  by  service  under  extremely  difficult  and  cruel  conditions. 

Taylor  was  one  of  the  chaplains  on  the  infamous  Bataan  death 
march,  from  Bataan  through  the  streets  of  Manila  to  a  prison  camp  eight 
miles  east  of  Cabanatuan.  Taylor  served  as  chaplain  in  the  prison  camp 
hospital  where  he  ministered  to  more  than  ten  thousand  patients.  In  the 
summer  of  1944  his  compassion  and  self  sacrifice  led  to  the  most  gruelling 
and  agonizing  period  of  suffering  and  hardship  in  his  life.  He  was  caught 
smuggling  food  and  medicine  to  the  patients.  "Carabao  (water  buffalo) 
caravans  brought  sacks  of  rice  into  the  prison  camp  and  that  is  how  we 
smuggled  in  the  goods,"  Taylor  recalled.  American  prisoners  of  war  who 
drove  the  carts  established  contact  with  the  local  Filipinos  who  loaded  the 
rice  sacks ;  the  Filipinos  hid  medicine  and  foodstuffs,  obtained  from  wel- 
fare workers  in  Manila,  between  the  sacks.  The  drivers  managed  to  slip 
the  goods  to  Taylor.  One  day  the  guards  caught  them.  As  punishment 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

120  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Taylor  was  kept  in  torturous  solitary  confinement  for  fourteen  weeks, 
in  a  cage  so  small  he  could  neither  stand  up  nor  lie  down.  Later  he  was 
transferred  to  Japan  by  ship  along  with  a  number  of  other  prisoners. 
American  planes  attacked  them  enroute ;  two  ships  sank  and  many  POWs 
were  killed.  Miraculously  Taylor  survived  the  bombings,  but  was  struck 
in  the  wrist  and  leg  by  flying  fragments  from  bombs  dropped  by  his  own 
coiintrymen.  "We  finally  got  to  Japan  with  about  450  of  the  800  Ameri- 
cans we  started  with,  and  within  a  couple  of  months  250  of  them  died," 
Tavlor  remembered  with  sorrow.  "By  that  time  there  were  not  many  of 
us  left."  ^°^ 

He  continued  to  minister  in  the  camp  and  conducted  baptismal 
services  for  converts  at  night  because  the  Japanese  would  not  let  them  use 
water  for  this  purpose.  (Taylor  became  Chief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains  in 

The  Japanese  attitude  toward  POW  chaplains  varied  from  place  to 
place  and  changed  for  the  better  in  time  during  the  conduct  of  the  war. 
At  first  the  Japanese  would  permit  no  religious  services,  and  viewed 
chaplains  as  propagandists ;  they  required  that  sermons  be  submitted  in 
advance  for  approval.  James  E.  Davis  was  captured  on  Guam  in  Decem- 
ber 1941,  transferred  to  Zentsuji  Prisori  Camp  in  Japan,  and  conducted 
services  unhampered  until  the  end  of  the  war.  Chaplain  Alfred  C.  Oliver's 
experience  was  quite  different.  His  neck  was  broken  by  a  guard's  rifle 
butt  when  he  refused  to  tell  how  prisoners  were  obtaining  help  from 
friendly  Filipinos.  Of  the  33  chaplains  who  at  some  time  were  in  Prison 
Camp  No.  1,  Cabanatuan,  18  did  not  live  to  regain  their  freedom. '"" 

Chaplain  Oliver,  the  senior  chaplain,  headed  the  chaplain  organiza- 
tion and  made  religious  assignments.  A  church  was  begun  with  a  con- 
stitution and  a  declaration  of  faith.  Members  pledged  themselves  to  the 
basic  principles  of  Christian  living,  and  to  join  a  church  in  their  home 
communities  when  they  returned.  A  laymen's  organization  included  ush- 
ers, deacons  for  serving  communion,  and  visitors  to  assist  in  calling  on 
the  sick.  The  chaplains  "grew"  their  chapels  by  planting  papaya  trees  in 
one  corner  of  the  compound,  with  the  permission  of  the  camp  com- 
mander; the  trees  grew  quickly  to  a  good  height,  and  a  thatch  lean-to  was 
erected  over  the  altar.  There  were  choirs,  baptismal  services,  Bible  studies ; 
worship  experiences  included  singing  hymns  copied  on  milk  can  wrappers. 
(The  church  kept  records,  which  were  buried  to  prevent  destruction  by 
the  Japanese ;  after  the  liberation  of  the  camp  they  were  recovered  and 
preserved  among  the  archives  of  the  Army. )  A  six-day  chaplain  confer- 
ence was  held,  6-1 1  September  1943  in  which  ways  to  increase  usefulness 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


were  discussed,  not  only  in  the  prisoner  of  war  situation  but  in  chaplain 
responsibilities  to  come,  whether  in  war  or  peace,  A  number  of  proposals 
were  considered  and  recommendations  were  made  to  the  Chief  of  Chap- 
lains as  well  as  to  leaders  of  various  denominations  concerning  changes  in 
administration  and  other  matters  which  would  improve  the  effectiveness 
of  chaplain  work.  Several  of  those  proposals  were  later  adopted  by  the 
Army.  On  the  Sunday  nearest  the  Fourth  of  July  one  congregation  sang 
"God  Bless  America";  it  was  warned  that  a  repetition  would  be  severely 
punished. ^"^ 

John  Anthony  Wilson,  a  Catholic  priest  from  Celina,  Ohio  told  of 
being  put  on  a  Japanese  coal  freighter  with  a  Protestant  chaplain  Leslie 
Zimmerman  and  1 ,200  American  POWs.  They  sailed  from  Manila  Bay  to 
Maji,  Japan,  via  Hong  Kong,  and  were  taken  off  the  ship  in  Formosa 
where  they  spent  two  and  one-half  months.  This  600  mile  trip  took  40 
days.  Finally  they  took  another  ship  for  21  days  before  arriving  in  Japan. 
"It  is  hard  to  conceive  human  beings  being  treated  so  heartlessly  by  other 
human  beings  ....  We  were  all  more  dead  than  alive  upon  arriving  in 
Japan."  "^ 

Wilson  also  told  of  another,  larger  ship  with  1,800  Americans  and 
two  Catholic  chaplains  that  left  Manila;  after  10  days  at  sea,  it  was 
torpedoed  by  an  American  submarine.  It  stayed  afloat  about  three  hours. 
Approximately  half  of  the  American  POWs  jumped  overboard  expecting 
to  be  picked  up  by  Japanese  destroyers.  The  Japanese  took  all  the  life- 
boats and  life  preservers,  ".  .  .  our  boys  had  precious  few."  The  Japanese 
picked  up  their  own  survivors  and  left  the  Americans  to  their  fate.  Among 
the  men  sticking  with  the  ship  were  the  two  priests,  Thomas  Scicina  of 
Indianapolis  and  Walter  O'Brien  of  San  Francisco, 

These  two  chaplains  took  up  places,  one  fore  and  ther  other  aft,  and 
heard  confessions  of  all  the  Catholic  men  who  came,  then  they  ministered 
as  best  they  could  to  the  rest  on  board,  praying  and  doing  what  they  could 
to  prepare  the  men  for  death  which  was  inevitable.  The  ship  broke  up  in 
about  3  hours  and  sank  with  all  hands  lost,  including  the  2  priests.  As  far 
as  I  know  only  about  12  men  escaped  death  out  of  the  1,800.  Some  made 
it  back  to  the  US  via  China  and  Russia,  they  were  picked  up  by  a  passing 
Japanese  ship  (not  of  the  convoy)  and  placed  aboard  the  ship  I  was  on. 
I  got  the  tragic  details  from  2  of  these  American  POWs."^ 

Specialized  Ministry 

In  the  early  phase  of  World  War  II,  a  relatively  small  number  of 
Army  chaplains  faced  combat  with  their  men,  or  continued  in  a  pastoral 
relationship  as  detained  persons  serving  American  and  Allied'prisoners  of 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

122  .  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

war.  For  the  great  majority  the  setting  of  their  ministry  was  determined 
by  the  key  word :  training.  Chaplains  were  either  in  training  themselves, 
at  the  Chaplain  School,  or  with  units  in  advanced  training  and  on 
maneuvers;  or  they  ministered  to  men  who  were  in  training,  at  basic 
advanced,  service  school,  or  line  units.  Still  others  were  in  specialized 
ministries  to  stockades,  hospitals,  troop  ships,  or  at  ports  of  embarkation. 
A  "Chaplain  Pool"  was  maintained  for  a  time  in  connection  with  the 
Chaplain  School.  The  rapid  expansion  of  units  made  orderly  assignment 
a  difficult  task  and  the  "pool"  was  one  way  of  having  a  supply  of  chap- 
lains somewhere  to  draw  upon.  100  were  authorized,  without  considera- 
tion of  grade."^ 

One  chaplain  wrote  that  he  still  felt  green  in  a  red,  white,  and  blue 
Army."'  This  characterized  the  feelings  of  many  men  as  they  went 
through  that  difficult  adjustment  process  from  civilian  to  soldier  known 
as  basic  training.  Chapel  attendance  in  basic  was  often  mandatory  in 
practice,  if  not  by  regulation,  unless  chaplains  who  resented  a  "captive" 
audience  worked  out  some  other  arrangement  with  the  commander.  Char- 
acter Guidance  lectures  were  mandatory  training  rather  than  worship 
services,  and  it  was  in  this  connection  that  a  popular  impression  was 
given  many  churchmen  that  "all  the  chaplains  do  in  the  Army  is  give  VD 
talks."  The  commander  often  considered  the  subject  a  responsibility 
shared  by  chaplains  and  surgeons.  Percy  Hickcox  said,  "It  is  the  province 
of  the  chaplain  to  approach  the  subject  from  a  moral  and  religous  view- 
point. During  training  days  all  troops  are  addressed  in  sessions  presided 
over  by  three  officers — one  of  the  line,  the  unit  surgeon  and  the  chap- 
lain." "^  Some  chaplains  felt  real  qualms  about  telling  men  to  remain 
chaste  just  before  a  medical  officer  gave  instructions  on  how  to  protect 
one's  self  against  venereal  disease.  The  training  day  was  long  and  hard, 
the  approach  deadly  serious,  even  grim.  A  popular  sign  read :  "The  more 
we  sweat  in  training  the  less  we  bleed  in  combat."  Chaplains  reported 
that  their  most  time-consuming  task  came  at  the  end  of  the  training  day, 
when  GIs  lined  up  for  counseling  until  late  at  night.  Correspondence 
with  mothers,  fathers,  wives  and  girl  friends  was  a  significant  aspect  of 
their  ministry;  public  relations  became  a  concern  of  the  Chief,  and  a 
daily  routine  for  the  chaplains  of  basic  training  units.  The  press  clamored 
for  stories  and  photographs  of  how  the  spiritual  needs  of  soldiers  were 
met  in  the  daily  activities  of  chaplains.  The  young  soldiers,  from  diverse 
backgrounds,  unaccompanied  by  dependents  who  trained  at  a  given  sta- 
tion only  a'few  weeks,  and  faced  an  uncertain  future,  were  of  special  con- 
cern to  the  public  who  referred  to  them  as  "our  boys."  The  adjustments 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


of  older  men  were  as  difficult,  but  not  as  sympathetically  perceived.  These 
factors  affected  the  kind  of  ministry  chaplains  performed.  Steve  P. 
Gaskins,  Jr.,  said  his  sermons  differed  from  those  he  had  preached  as  a 
civilian  pastor. 

Because  I  was  in  a  different  situation  I  tried  to  direct  my  sermons 
to  the  point  of  need  of  men  who  were  preparing  to  face  death,  who 
were  moving  on  to  face  crucial  stiuations  at  rather  young  and  tender 
ages.  It  would  have  been  criminal  to  preach  sermons  I  had  preached  to 
wheat  farmers  out  in  Western  Oklahoma  who  had  seldom  faced  a  crisis 
bigger  than  the  success  or  failure  of  their  annual  wheat  crop."^ 

Other  chaplains  commented  on  relevance  and  brevity  as  character- 
istic of  their  preaching  and  counseling.  The  Army  tended  to  discourage 
marriages  in  this  period ;  earlier  regulations  forbade  marriage  for  enlisted 
men  in  the  first  three  grades  and  considered  it  a  bar  to  reenlistment. 
During  the  war  the  soldier  needed  his  commander's  permission  to  marry; 
the  uncertainty  of  the  couple's  future,  confronted  by  a  probable  long 
separation,  plus  immaturity,  hasty  courtships,  differences  in  religious 
background,  lack  of  parental  consent  (and  sometimes  knowledge) ,  made 
the  paper  work  drag  along,  unless  pregnancy  was  involved.  One  chap- 
lain handled  the  situation  with  humor  by  posting  the  photograph  of  a 
beautiful  movie  star  on  the  bulletin  board  with  the  caption  "Unless  the 
girl  you  want  to  marry  is  as  good  looking  as  this,  don't  see  me."  "° 

Chaplains  in  reception  centers  and  basic  training  outfits  were  impor- 
tant in  that  they  created  first  impressions  of  the  chaplaincy  for  millions  of 
service  men  and  women.  "Tell  it  to  the  chaplain"  became  a  familiar 
phrase,  and  while  said  in  jest,  it  reflected  the  accessibility  of  the  clergy 
in  khaki.  Chaplains  went  through  infiltration  courses,  gas  mask  drills, 
road  marches;  they  frequented  mess  halls  and  made  themselves  visible 
at  training  sites,  rifle  ranges,  and  bivouac  areas.  Chaplain  Calvert  L. 
Kelly  had  a  morale-boosting  stunt  he  used  regularly  on  long  road  marches. 
After  nineteen  miles  of  marching  with  full  equipment,  while  everyone 
was  exhausted  and  taking  a  break,  Kelly  got  up,  danced  a  jig,  and  asked 
if  anyone  was  tired. "^ 

Robert  A.  Martin,  a  Southern  Presbyterian,  reported  a  specialized 
ministry  at  a  "Work  or  Fight  Camp"  at  Camp  Ellis,  Illinois.  There  were 
approximately  fifteen  thousand  men  in  the  camp,  with  only  three  chap- 
lains. Ninety-five  percent  of  the  men  were  below  the  medical  qualifica- 
tions for  entrance  into  the  Army.  "There  were  men  with  every  physical 
defect  possible  for  man:  .  .  .  nearly  blind,  entirely  deaf;  men  with  with- 
ered limbs,  broken  backs,  .  .  .  and  psychos  by  the  hundreds."  Martin 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

124  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

ministered  to  about  five  thousand  men  with  less  than  a  fourth  grade 
education.  "This  camp  was  a  stain  upon  the  United  States  Government 
which  allowed  local  draft  boards  to  enlist  men  of  such  low  physical 
condition."  It  remained  open  for  only  about  six  months,  when  pressure 
from  the  camp  and  the  families  of  the  men  finally  forced  local  boards 
to  be  more  careful  in  their  selections.^'' 

Demonstrations  of  religious  tolerance  were  seen  as  men  of  diverse 
backgrounds  entered  the  service  in  large  numbers.  At  Camp  Robinson, 
Little  Rock,  Arkansas,  a  group  of  Jewish  soldiers  presented  an  unusual 
petition  to  the  commanding  officer;  they  requested  duty  during  the 
Christmas  holidays  (1941)  to  permit  more  Catholic  and  Protestant  sol- 
diers to  spend  time  with  their  families.  Their  example  spread  to  other 
posts.  At  Fort  Dix,  New  Jersey,  Chaplain  William  T.  Brundick  said  to 
Jewish  soldiers: 

Protestant  and  Catholic  soldiers  at  Fort  Dix  are  touched  by  the 
news  that  hundreds  of  Jewish  soldiers  here  have  voluntarily  decided  not 
to  ask  for  Christmas  furloughs  in  order  to  make  it  possible  for  a  maxi- 
mum number  of  Protestants  and  Catholics  to  be  with  their  families 
on  Christmas.  Our  sincere  thanks  to  you.*'"' 

Thomas  E.  Foster,  a  Catholic  chaplain  at  Amarillo  Army  Air  Field, 
was  to  take  twenty  of  his  men  to  the  Cathedral  at  Amarillo  to  receive 
confirmation.  "Unfortunately  at  the  last  minute,  I  could  not  go,  so  two 
Protestant  chaplains  took  the  boys  in  to  the  cathedral,  stayed  for  the 
entire  ceremony,  and  brought  them  back  in  time  for  the  next  military 
formation.""*  The  Chief  said,  "This  war  is  a  different  war."  The  aim 
of  the  enemy  "is  not  the  mere  capture  of  land  or  material  possessions, 
but  the  utter  destruction  of  that  spiritual  wealth  upon  which  the  nations 
of  democracy  are  founded."  "'^  Chaplains  and  their  congregations  re- 
sponded with  an  outpouring  of  ecumenism  and  tolerance  that  strength- 
ened the  spiritual  wealth  of  America.  Similar  stories  of  interfaith  coop- 
eration occurred  throughout  the  war. 

Robert  B.  Chapman  commented  on  the  variety  of  tasks  that  come 
to  chaplains  in  their  extended  ministry.  "But  anyone  (and  there  are  a  lot 
of  officers  in  the  Army  who  fall  into  this  class)  who  doesn't  understand 
the  chaplain's  job  will  probably  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  chaplain 
is  just  an  old  busybody  who  is  trying  to  make  life  as  miserable  and  unhappy 
as  possible  for  all  those  who  have  authority."  ^^^  But,  leaves,  furloughs, 
allotments,  promotions ;  clashes  with  the  top  kick,  KP  duty,  special  details, 
supposed  abuses  by  the  commanding  officer,  or  the  medical  department ; 
failure  to  get  a  PX  ration  card,  loans.  Red  Cross  assistance — all  such 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


problems,  along  with  almost  anything  else  one  could  think  of  that  would 
disturb  a  soldier's  peace  of  mind  and  his  ability  to  concentrate  and  train, 
found  their  way  into  the  chaplain's  office.  And  in  the  soldier's  mind  it 
was  the  chaplain  who  would  hear  his  gripes  and  troubles  and  try  to  do 
something  to  help  both  the  abused  and  the  abuser. 

The  chaplains  often  "filled  in"  where  entertainment,  recreation, 
and  sports  facilities  and  personnel  were  lacking.  They  showed  movies; 
made  recreation  facilities  available ;  set  up  rooms  with  writing  tables  and 
stationery,  games,  ping  pong  tables;  in  some  cases  they  worked  with 
local  churches,  Red  Cross,  YMCA,  Special  Services,  USO,  and  other 
civilian  patriotic,  civic,  and  religious  organizations  to  put  on  clean  camp 
shows  and  chaperoned  dances.  Sometimes  chaplains  were  asked  to  do 
these  things  but  often  they  voluntarily  took  on  such  responsibilities  as 
an  additional  way  of  meeting  and  serving  the  personnel  of  the  com- 
mand."' The  style  of  ministry  depended  on  the  individual  and  his  view 
of  himself,  his  role  in  the  military,  and  the  situation  in  which  he  found 

One  chaplain  wrote  in  his  monthly  report,  "On  maneuvers  I  have 
used  every  opportunity  available  for  getting  acquainted  with  men  and 
making  myself  useful  as  occasion  offered,  cashing  checks,  securing  money 
orders,  sending  mail,  procuring  candy  and  cigarettes  for  men  etc."  And 
in  another  report  he  wrote,  "I  make  myself  available  for  errands."  "^ 

Gaskins  wrote,  "As  long  as  members  of  my  command  were  aware 
of  the  seriousness  with  which  I  took  my  ministerial  station  and  as  long 
as  I  evidenced  personal  integrity  they  wanted  me  to  be  the  best  minister 
possible."  ''' 

Chief  of  Chaplains  William  R.  Arnold  wrote: 

If  I  were  writing  letters  to  the  families  back  home,  the  one  thing  I 
would  like  to  tell  them  is  this — as  far  as  religion  goes — a  boy  is  just  as 
safe  in  the  Army  as  at  home.  You  know  they  say  the  devil  finds  things  for 
idle  hands  to  do.  Well,  the  devil  is  out  of  luck  in  an  Army  camp.  Hands, 
feet  and  head  are  pretty  busy  from  reveille  to  taps.^"° 

What  was  true  for  the  soldier  was  true  for  the  chaplain.  Most  were 
so  busy  as  clergymen  that  other  duties  were  not  required  of  them. 
Chaplain  Arnold  was  so  concerned  about  protecting  his  chaplains  from 
secular  duties  that  the  monthly  report  form  was  changed  to  specifically 
address  additional  duties  that  were  performed.  As  these  reports  traveled 
up  the  chain  of  command  to  higher  headquarters,  commanders  got  the 
message ;  and  chaplains  were  encouraged  to  be  clergymen  in  uniform  with 
pastoral  responsibilities  as  their  duty.^^^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

126  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

One  of  the  most  unusual  specialized  ministries  was  assignment  to  a 
troop  transport.  In  the  period  of  the  twenties  and  thirties  chaplains  often 
rode  transports  to  the  Phihppines  on  a  hit-or-miss  basis  as  overseas 
replacements.  On  30  July  1929  two  chaplains  were  assigned  to  perma- 
nent duty  riding  transports.  (Since  there  were  five  transports  and  only 
two  chaplains,  as  the  Chief's  annual  report  said,  "the  system  is  not  per- 
fect." '""  For  the  duration  of  World  War  II  many  chaplains  found  them- 
selves permanently  assigned  to  transports. 

Emmet  G.  Jones  must  have  felt  more  like  a  Navy  man  than  an  Army 
chaplain.  He  was  on  one  of  the  last  ships  out  of  the  Philippines  in  1942 
and  spent  the  entire  war  on  Army  transports;  he  made  1 10  ocean  cross- 
ings, including  the  invasion  of  North  Africa.  (He  qualified  as  a  glider- 
man  in  1947,  perhaps  to  gain  wider  experience  in  modes  of  travel.) 
His  service  may  have  set  a  record.^"^  One  chaplain  was  proud  of  his 
accomplishment  on  a  single  crossing.  John  O.  Fisher,  a  Unitarian, 
reported : 

"In  convoy  to  England  in  1944,  with  six  other  chaplains  aboard  (all 
Protestant)  I  held  15  Catholic  services  and  3  Jewish  services  by  myself, 
while  assisting  at  two  of  the  three  Protestant  services  held.  For  two  days 
I  was  the  only  chaplain  to  report  for  duty.  All  others,  including  the  trans- 
port chaplain,  were  seasick."  ^^* 

Interfaith  cooperation  on  transports  was  the  rule  rather  than  the 
exception.  Vernon  P.  Jaeger  found  himself  the  only  chaplain  on  his  trans- 
port and  served  all  personnel.  He  wrote  that  "An  insufficient  number  of 
Jewish  men  aboard  to  form  a  minyan  developed  an  agreement  that  some 
Roman  Catholic  fellows  offered  to  be  a  part  of  the  service,  providing 
the  Jewish  men  would  join  them  for  the  Rosary  Benediction."  ^^^ 

Chaplain  Howard  Benninghoff,  a  Christian  Scientist,  rode  the  S.S. 
Marine  Tiger  and  commented  on  what  it  was  like  to  live  with  2,500 
men  aboard  a  ship  four  hundred  and  seventy  feet  long,  fifty  feet  wide, 
and  three  decks  deep  for  three  to  eight  weeks  at  a  time,  with  the  tem- 
perature holding  around  ninety-five  degrees  Fahrenheit  when  in  the 
South  Pacific.  All  manner  of  problems  developed — everything  from  re- 
quests for  a  certain  record  over  the  public  address  system  to  complaints 
about  the  food;  from  worries  concerning  loved  ones  at  home  to  fears 
about  forthcoming  combat  experiences — and  were  brought  to  the  chap- 
lain's office.  Benninghoff  reported  that  some  days  as  many  as  three  hun- 
dred men  dropped  by  his  office.  "There  was  little  time  to  talk  religion 
as  such,  but  living  it  in  thought  and  deed  as  you  answered  the  hundreds 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


of  requests  gave  more  spiritual  conviction  than  hours  of  theological  argu- 
ment could  have  afforded."  ^'^ 

A  chaplain  on  one  transport  had  the  Chaplain's  Flag  hoisted  during 
the  service  and  used  the  loudspeaker  of  the  ship.  A  destroyer  drew  along- 
side and  held  that  position,  with  the  men  on  both  vessels  listening  to  the 

Special  Service  officers  were  assigned  to  transports  late  in  the  war; 
until  then,  the  ships  were  one  place  where  Army  chaplains  were  not 
excluded  from  secular  duties.  Army  Regulations  30-1155  and  55-355 
specifically  assigned  them  duties  in  the  area  of  recreation  and  entertain- 
ment. One  chaplain  arranged  microphones  so  men  could  participate 
in  an  amateur  show  without  being  at  its  location  aboard  ship;  orchestras 
and  athletic  events — especially  boxing  matches — were  organized;  mov- 
ing pictures,  shipboard  newspapers,  and  food  treats  were  popular  diver- 
sions. Lectures  on  the  country  to  which  the  troops  were  going  produced 
interested  audiences.  Former  teachers  were  pressed  into  service  to  teach 
foreign  language  classes,  history,  geography,  and  remedial  classes  in 
English  and  mathematics.  In  nearly  all  of  their  efforts  chaplains  re- 
ported good  command  support.  One  officer  said  to  his  chaplain:  "I  am 
your  commanding  officer;  you  are  the  chaplain  of  this  ship.  Whatever 
you  do,  though  it  be  right  or  wrong,  I  will  back  you  up  100  percent; 
and  if  you  are  wrong,  I  will  deal  with  you  individually  later."  ^^^ 

The  Four  Chaplains 

The  most  famous  World  War  II  event  in  the  history  of  the  Army 
chaplaincy  occurred  aboard  a  troop  transport,  the  SS  Dorchester.  One 
tribute  said : 

Thousands  of  uncounted  deeds  of  devotion  and  gallantr^^  by  chap- 
lains are  recorded  only  in  the  annals  of  eternity.  But  others,  like  the  self- 
sacrifice  of  four  Army  Chaplains  on  the  sinking  transport  Dorchester, 
have  become  classics  in  the  folklore  of  America.  Clark  Poling,  one  of  the 
four,  had  written  a  letter  to  his  father  long  before  the  Dorchester  went 
down.  In  the  letter  he  made  the  request:  "I  know  I  shall  have  your 
prayers,  but  please  don't  pray  simply  that  God  will  keep  me  safe.  War  is 
dangerous  business.  Pray  that  God  will  make  me  adequate!"  ^^^  He  and 
the  other  chaplains  involved  were,  indeed,  adequate. 

A  memorandum  from  the  Chief  of  Naval  Operations  stated:  "The 
ship  Dorchester  was  an  Army  transport  of  5,252  tons  with  751  Army 
passengers  and  1,000  tons  of  cargo  embarked.  She  was  manned  by  a 
merchant  marine  crew  of  130  men,  although  there  was  on  board  a  Navy 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

128  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Armed  Guard  of  23  men.  Dorchester  in  Company  of  two  merchant 
ships,  Biscaya  and  Lutz,  under  the  escort  of  USCG  cutters  Tampa, 
Esconaba,  and  Comanche,  was  enroute  from  St.  John's  Newfoundland 
to  Greenland.  She  was  hit  by  one  torpedo  from  U-456  at  0358,  February 
3, 1943,  and  sank  rapidly  by  the  bow."  "" 

The  ship  sank  in  twenty  minutes,  in  the  dark,  in  near  freezing  air 
and  water  temperatures.  Of  the  904  men  on  board,  678  were  finally 
reported  "lost  in  action."  Among  them  were  four  Army  chaplains,  all 
First  Lieutenants:  Clark  V.  Poling  and  George  Fox,  Protestants;  John  P. 
Washington,  Catholic;  and  Alexander  D.  Goode,  a  Jew.'" 

Clark  Poling's  father,  Dr.  Daniel  Poling,  a  prominent  churchman  and 
editor  of  The  Christian  Herald,  told  of  being  ".  .  .  in  a  hotel  just  off 
Grosvenor  Square  in  London  when  the  nine  o'clock  BBC  newscast 
blared  the  story  of  a  transport  torpedoed  and  a  few  survivors  picked 
up  .  .  .  but  briefly  the  announcer  told  of  four  chaplains  of  three  faiths 
who  heroically  did  their  duty,  gave  their  own  lifebelts  to  enlisted  men, 
and  then  praying  together  went  down  with  the  ship."  ''" 

Within  days  the  story  began  to  emerge.  Chaplains  Edward  J. 
Saunders  and  William  S.  Bowdern  interviewed  the  helmsman  of  the 
Dorchester  in  St.  John's  Newfoundland  and  forwarded  their  report  to 
the  Chief  of  Chaplains."' 

Chaplain  Herman  H.  Heuer,  who  worked  in  the  Office  of  the  Chief 
of  Chaplains,  stated  that  the  message  landed  on  his  desk  "and  I  was 
instructed  to  'make  a  big  thing  of  it.'  "  '^*  But  the  American  public  made 
a  big  thing  of  it,  for  the  story  of  the  immortal  four  captured  the  imagina- 
tion of  the  nation  and  became  the  most  famous  and  commemorated 
incident  involving  chaplains  in  all  of  World  War  IL 

There  was  some  delay  in  the  release  of  facts  due  to  bureaucratic 
thoroughness  and  a  reluctance  to  change  the  status  of  those  "missing  in 
action  and  presumed  dead,"  to  "lost  in  action."  A  form  letter  requesting 
clarification  and  enlightenment  surrounding  the  deaths  of  the  chaplains 
was  sent  to  the  226  survivors.  Their  responses  are  in  the  National 
Archives  in  Washington,  D.C.'^' 

Forty  persons,  under  oath,  revealed  facts  greater  than  the  legend; 
they  told  of  the  round-the-clock  ministry  of  faithful  shepherds  who  visited 
the  sick,  led  worship,  and  sang  with  the  men  aboard  ship  in  informal 
gatherings  before  the  fateful  night. 

They  also  told  how  "with  utter  disregard  of  self,  having  given  away 
their  life  jackets  to  four  men  without  them,  the  chaplains  stood  hand  in 
hand,  praying  to  the  God  they  served  for  the  safety  of  those  men  who  were 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 



leaving  the  stricken  ship  on  all  sides  of  them.  This  is  the  picture  engraved 
in  our  minds  and  hearts  as  the  SS  Dorchester  disappeared  beneath  the 
waves."  "° 

Many  survivors  told  of  how  the  chaplains  quieted  the  panic  of  men 
frozen  by  fear  at  the  ship's  rail,  w^hom  the  chaplains  forced  into  boats 
and  life  jackets.  They  told  of  how  they  prayed  with  the  men  and  spoke 
words  of  encouragement.  Several  saw  them  hand  out  life  belts  from  a 
box;  when  those  were  exhausted,  they  took  off  their  own  and  put  them 
on  enlisted  men.  They  helped  rig  rafts  out  of  timbers,  cork,  and  other 
materials  at  hand.  They  were  credited  with  saving  many  lives.  One  sur- 
vivor, Richard  McHale,  said,  "The  sound  of  men  in  panic  is  worse  than 
any  woman's  screams  .  .  .  hearing  some  calling  for  their  mothers  .  .  . 
it  was  awful."  ^^'  The  chaplains  convinced  many  to  at  least  leave  the 
ship,  that  there  was  a  chance  for  rescue  over  the  side. 

Exposure  to  the  cold  killed  many,  and  those  lightly  clad  suffered 
most.  One  witness  saw  Chaplain  Goode  give  his  gloves  to  another  man. 
After  spending  eight  hours  awash  in  a  crowded  lifeboat  he  was  rescued. 
"Without  the  chaplain's  gloves,"  he  said,  "my  fingers  would  have  frozen 
stiff.  I  would  never  have  made  it.  As  it  was,  only  two  of  us  survived  of 
the  40  who  were  on  the  boat.  I  owed  my  life  to  the  chaplain  ^vho  gave 
me  those  gloves."  "^ 

Those  acts  of  heroism  caught  the  imagination  of  Americans.  The 
interfaith  cooperation  of  the  chaplains  set  an  example  for  people  pulling 
together  for  the  defeat  of  common  enemy.  On  19  December  1944  the 
Distinguished  Service  Cross  and  Purple  Heart  were  awarded  post- 
humously to  the  next  of  kin  by  Lt.  Gen.  Brehon  B.  Somervell,  Command- 
ing General  of  the  Army  Service  Forces,  in  a  ceremony  at  the  post  chapel 
at  Fort  Myer,  Virginia.  Many  honors  followed;  they  included  a  com- 
memorative stamp  by  the  U.S.  Post  Office;  an  interfaith  chapel  at  the 
Baptist  Temple  in  Philadelphia;  a  painting  by  Dudley  Summers,  owned 
and  displayed  by  the  New  York  City  Headquarters  of  the  National  Con- 
ference on  Christians  and  Jews ;  a  therapeutic  pool  for  disabled  veterans 
at  the  Bronx  Veterans  Hospital,  New  York  City;  "a  Living  Memorial  of 
Good  Books"  at  the  York  County,  Pennsylvania,  Library;  an  annual 
award  by  B'nai  Brith  in  the  four  chaplains'  memory;  a  memorial  pool  in 
one  cemetery,  and  a  12  foot  high  statue  of  the  Four  Chaplains  in  another. 
Many  books  have  told  the  story  in  detail."'' 

On  18  January  1961  a  posthumous  Special  Medal  for  Heroism  never 
before  given  and  never  to  be  given  again,  was  authorized  by  Congress  and 
awarded  by  the  President.  Congress  wished  to  confer  The  Medal  of  Honor 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

130  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

upon  the  four,  but  was  blocked  by  the  stringent  requirements  for  that 
award  which  included  heroism  performed  under  fire.  The  special  medal 
was  intended  to  have  the  same  weight  and  importance  as  its  more  famous 
counterpart,  the  Medal  of  Honor."" 

A  further  footnote  to  history  was  supplied  by  Rabbi  David  Max 
Eichhorn,  who  was  with  Chaplain  Goode  and  Chaplain  James  M.  Liston, 
a  Catholic,  at  Camp  Miles  Standish  in  Massachusetts.  "I  shared  a  chapel 
at  Camp  Croft,  Spartanburg,  South  Carolina,  with  Father  James  M. 
Liston  and  we  became  very  good  friends.  Like  Alex  Goode  and  myself, 
Jimmy  Liston  loved  to  play  pinochle." 

I  was  at  the  Army  Chaplain  School,  Harvard  LTniversity,  Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts,  in  December  1942.  One  evening  during  that 
month,  Alex  and  Jimmy  came  in  to  Cambridge  from  the  Boston  POE 
to  visit  me.  We  had  dinner  together  and  then  spent  several  hours  playing 
our  favorite  card  game.  Both  Alex  and  Jimmy  had  a  premonition  that 
the  ships  carrying  them  to  their  respective  o\erseas  destinations  were  not 
going  to  make  it.  Jimmy  told  me  that  he  had  contributed  $50  to  a  Boston 
church  for  masses  to  be  said  for  the  repose  of  his  soul  if  he  should  be 
lost  at  sea. 

On  the  February  night  that  the  Dorchester,  bound  for  Greenland, 
went  down  with  its  four  chaplains,  another  ship  bound  for  Iceland  and 
with  the  same  convoy  was  torpedoed  and  sank.  Chaplain  James  M. 
Liston  was  on  that  other  ship  and  went  down  with  it. 

I  am  very  glad  to  have  this  opportunity  to  let  it  be  known  that  not 
four  but  five  heroic  chaplains  died  for  God  and  country  in  the  cold 
waters  of  the  North  Atlantic  on  the  night  that  the  Dorchester  went 

The  Growing  Clarity  of  Role  and  Status 

One  of  the  greatest  contributions  to  the  status  of  the  chaplain  was 
the  attitude  of  his  commanding  officer.  An  equally  important  factor  was 
the  chaplain's  own  perception  of  his  role  In  the  military.  "Never  before 
had  such  an  appreciation  of  the  chaplain's  mission  developed  as  in  World 
War  II,"  wrote  Chaplain  Daniel  B.  Jorgensen."^  Partly  this  appreciation 
was  due  to  the  excellent  work  done  by  chaplains  between  the  wars,  partly 
to  regulations  and  directives,  and  partly  to  the  spirit  of  leaders  like  Mar- 
shall, Eisenhower,  MacArthur,  Spaatz  and  Arnold.  The  top  brass  spoke 
of  the  war  in  spiritual  terms,  as  a  conflict  of  the  forces  of  good  and  evil, 
light  and  darkness.  Eisenhower  said : 

The  Allied  soldier  sees  himself  as  a  defender  of  those  great  precepts 
of  humanitarianism  preached  by  Christ  and  exemplified  in  the  way  of 
life  for  which  all  true  democracies  stand.  He  sees  this  conflict  as  a  war 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


between  greed  and  selfishness  and  love  of  power  today  typified  in  Nazism, 
Fascism  and  Shintoism."^ 

General  Marshall  expressed  his  concern  for  the  work  of  the  chaplain 
when  he  said : 

The  same  care  has  been  displayed  in  the  selection  of  chaplains  that 
we  exercise  in  the  selection  of  troop  leaders,  and  what  is  equally  impor- 
tant, we  are  directing  the  same  energetic  supervision  to  the  coordination 
and  direction  of  the  work  of  these  chaplains  as  we  give  to  the  direction 
of  the  work  of  our  tactical  commanders.  .  .  .^** 

A  letter  to  the  Commanding  Generals  of  all  Air  Forces  in  1942 
stated:  "The  Commanding  General,  Army  Air  Forces,  is  most  anxious 
that  all  commanders  recognize,  accept  and  discharge  completely  their 
responsibilities  for  the  moral  and  spiritual  welfare  of  their  officers  and 
men."  "^  It  was  said  that  those  things  get  done  that  the  boss  checked  on, 
and  was  interested  in.  After  an  inspection  tour  Major  General  E.  S.  Adams 
wrote:  "All  commanding  oflficers  I  interviewed  spoke  highly  of  their 
chaplains  and  all  chaplains  were  most  enthusiastic  in  their  praise  for  the 
fine  spirit  and  cooperation  they  were  receiving  from  those  in  authority." 
Chaplain  Gynther  Storaasli  wrote  in  July  1941 : 

It's  a  tough  blow  to  us  old  timers  to  have  to  sit  at  desks  in  these 
days  and  note,  not  without  a  tinge  of  envy,  the  marvelous  response 
the  younger  chaplains  in  the  field  are  receiving  from  ever\'one  in  and  out 
of  service.  ...  It  thrills  even  this  old  heart  of  mine  to  read  the  letters 
from  chaplains  .  .  .  with  nary  a  word  of  complaint  about  lack  of 

In  those  instances  where  chaplains  failed  to  receive  cooperation  it 
seemed  that -the  problem  was  caused  by  commanders  who  believed  in  a 
get  tough,  no  coddling,  policy  which  emphasized  the  mission  of  combat 
arms  to  the  exclusion  of  all  other  considerations.  Some  West  Point  grad- 
uates who  had  suffered  through  four  years  of  compulsory  chapel  made  it 
clear  by  their  conspicuous  lack  of  participation  in  worship  that  they  "had 
enough."  Sometimes  the  commander's  faith  was  different  from  his  chap- 
lain's and  caused  friction.  On  the  other  hand,  chaplains  who  failed  to 
serve  adequately  either  because  of  their  immaturity,  narrow  sectarianism, 
or  moral  instability  could  and  did  prejudice  any  commander  under  whom 
they  served. 

One  of  the  commonly  expressed  fears  of  clergymen  was  that  chap- 
lains would  be  told  what  to  preach ;  that  the  traditional  freedom  of  the 
pulpit  would  be  compromised  in  the  military  service.  Chaplain  Aryeh  Lev, 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

132  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

in  a  booklet  What  Chaplains  Preach  presented  a  collection  of  sermon 
ideas  from  many  chaplains,  and  commented : 

What  should  the  chaplain  preach?  He  should  preach  religion!  The 
chaplain  is  his  own  judge  as  to  what  that  is  and  how  it  should  be 
preached.  No  one  can  tell  him  what  to  say  and  what  not  to  say.  .  .  .  Every 
chaplain  takes  an  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  Constitution  of  the  United 
States  when  he  receives  his  commission  and  as  long  as  he  fulfills  that 
pledge  he  is  at  perfect  liberty  to  preach  that  which  his  religious  training 
has  taught  him  to  say.^'" 

The  chaplain  had  a  non-combatant  status.  This  created  some  prob- 
lems and  raised  certain  quesrions.  Should  a  chaplain  take  part  in  training 
exercises  such  as  small-arms  firing  or  go  on  combat  flying  missions?  In 
both  cases  the  answer  from  the  Chief's  office  was  "no."  The  Judge  Advo- 
cate General  said : 

If  a  member  of  the  medical  department  or  a  chaplain  should  .  .  .  use 
against  the  enemy  arms  ...  he  would  not  only  forfeit  the  protection  to 
which  he  is  normally  entitled,  but  would  commit  a  war  crime  for  which 
he  might  lawfully  be  tried  by  the  enemy  and  upon  conviction  be  pun- 
ished, even  with  death. ^^® 

There  is  no  record  that  the  noncombatant  status  of  the  chaplain  was 
seriously  compromised  during  the  war.  (Toward  the  end  of  the  war  many 
chaplains  "took  prisoners"  but  as  the  record  was  examined  these  were 
flukes,  and  the  chaplains  were  armed  only  with  fountain  pens,  and  were 
often  more  frightened  than  their  prisoners. ) 

In  the  commander's  view  of  the  chaplain  no  role  was  more  important 
than  that  of  counselor.  Whether  conducted  in  an  informal  setting  as  the 
chaplain  visited  about  the  post,  in  the  more  formalized  setting  of  an  office, 
or  in  the  hospital  or  stockade,  the  chaplain  was  sought  for  counsel  by 
enlisted  men  and  officers  for  a  great  variety  of  problems.  The  Chief  of 
Chaplains  repeatedly  emphasized  the  responsibilities  of  chaplains  in  pro- 
tecting the  sacred  relationship  of  the  confession  or  the  privileged  commu- 
nication made  to  a  chaplain  in  counseling.  He  could  not  be  called  as  a 
witness  in  a  court-martial  to  divulge  what  he  learned  through  counseling 
except  with  permission  of  the  person  involved.  This  confidential  rela- 
tionship encouraged  men  to  bring  "military  problems"  to  the  chaplain 
because  they  knew  they  would  not  be  punished  or  disciplined.  It  encour- 
aged them  to  bring  their  intimate  personal  problems  because  they  could  be 
assured  of  privacy.  In  some  respects  a  chaplain  served  as  an  arbitrator 
between  officer  and  enlisted  men. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Jorgensen  pointed  out  that  the  counsehng  situation  was  one  place 
where  attention  was  paid  to  the  individual.  Because  of  the  size  of  the 
Army,  the  tremendous  organization  of  manpower  and  programs  neces- 
sary to  the  prosecution  of  the  war,  the  channels  of  communication,  the 
demands  of  time,  and  the  impersonality  with  which  men  may  be  ordered 
to  their  deaths,  the  individual  was  often  lost  in  the  machinery.  In  the 
chaplain  he  could  find  a  confidant  no  matter  what  his  rank,  organization 
or  problem. 

The  counseling  load  was  very  heavy.  Chaplain  William  J.  Clasby  at 
Santa  Ana  Army  Air  Base  reported  that  chaplains  there  conducted  1,500 
to  2,000  interviews  and  conferences  each  month,  and  he  personally  had 
interviewed  some  8,000  persons  from  March  to  December  1942.  A  study 
made  in  1943  by  the  Army  Special  Services  Division  revealed  that  next  to 
the  commanding  officer  a  far  greater  proportion  of  men  went  to  see  the 
chaplain  than  any  other  officer.  In  1942  there  was  an  average  of  53  per- 
sonal conferences  a  day  for  each  chaplain  in  the  Army.  Another  survey 
revealed  that  in  the  United  States,  1 2  percent  of  all  Army  personnel  con- 
sulted a  chaplain  in  the  course  of  a  one-year  period,  and  overseas  25  per- 
cent of  the  men  had  been  counseled  each  year.^^'' 

Personal  and  family  problems  accounted  for  the  largest  number  of 
consultations.  Homesickness,  suicidal  feeling,  marriage,  alcohol,  sickness 
at  home — the  whole  range  of  human  experience  came  before  the  chaplain 
— but  none  were  more  distressing  than  those  over  which  the  serviceman 
felt  he  had  no  control.  Particularly  difficut  were  the  "Dear  John"  letters, 
in  which  a  wife  or  fiancee  would  announce,  that  she  had  fallen  in  love 
with  someone  else.  Chaplain  Gilbert  Johnstone  in  New  Guinea  wrote  a 
letter  to  the  editor  of  the  Chicago  Daily  News  which  appeared  on  page 
one  under  the  title,  "Cheating  War  Wives."  The  scorching  letter  touched 
off  a  flurry  of  pro  and  con  arguments  by  judges,  social  workers,  clergy- 
men, and  service  wives  across  the  nation.  On  the  other  hand  chaplains  re- 
ceived thousands  of  letters  from  anxious  families  distressed  about  prob- 
lems concerning  their  husbands,  brothers,  sisters,  daughters  and  sons. 
Very  often  when  the  soldier  failed  to  write  home,  the  chaplain  got  a  letter 
asking  him  to  look  in  on  "Johnny,"  and  this  visit  usually  produced  cor- 
respondence headed  home. 

Military  problems,  those  concerned  with  adjustment  to  the  military 
situation  itself,  was  the  second  largest  group.  Chaplain  Graeser  wrote 
from  Scott  Field,  words  that  could  have  come  from  any  Chaplain  any- 
where : 

Many  of  the  men  coming  to  this  Post  had  been  promised  by  the 
recruiting  officer  .  .  .  that  they  would  get  to  be  fliers  within  six  weeks 
or  two  months.  .  .   .  However  when  they  get  here,  and  find  that  they 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  10 

134  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

don't  get  within  gunshot  of  a  plane  .  .  .  but  instead  mow  lawns,  police 
up  about  the  garrison  .  .  .  they  feel  they  have  been  imposed  upon.  .  .  .^^° 

Chaplains  often  used  some  unusual  counseling  techniques  not  found 
in  books.  In  one  case  Chaplain  Joseph  D.  Andrew  discovered  that  an 
unhappy  private  was  failing  in  his  ambition  to  become  a  military  police- 
man because  he  couldn't  ride  a  motorcycle.  The  chaplain  a  motorcyclist 
himself,  went  with  him  to  a  quiet  road  for  a  ride,  diagnosed  the  difficulty, 
and  helped  him  qualify. 

The  third  largest  number  of  interviews  concerned  religious  prob- 
lems. Chaplain  James  L.  Blakeney  told  of  one  pilot  in  a  tough  spot 
who  suddenly  realized  he  didn't  know  how  to  pray.  So,  he  simply  kept 
repeating,  "God  help  me;  God  help  me;  God  help  me  . .  ."  until  he  fought 
his  way  out  of  enemy  territory.  When  he  reached  home  base  he  immedi- 
ately sought  the  chaplain  and  said,  "Look,  Padre,  I  haven't  much  time, 
but  can't  you  give  me  some  quick  pointers  on  praying?  Boy,  do  I  need  it 
up  there."  Not  all  requests  for  religious  guidance  were  as  dramatic  as 
this,  but  many  a  man  facing  the  tensions  and  grim  realities  of  total  war 
found  his  own  resources  inadequate  and  turned  to  God  for  strength. 

Another  type  of  problem  which  caused  some  concern,  and  involved 
chaplains  in  unusual  ways,  had  to  do  with  problems  of  a  moral  nature. 
One  chaplain  found  a  package  at  his  door  containing  $1,555.  On  it 

was  a  note  which  said,  "This  money  belongs  to  the  party  living  at 

Street,  Tampa,  Fla.  I  have  faith  in  the  chaplain  enough  to  know  that  it 
will  be  returned  to  the  proper  owner.  Sorry  the  whole  incident  happened." 
The  anonymous  soldier  had  stolen  the  money,  but  he  trusted  the  chaplain 
to  return  it.^^^  Stolen  government  property,  and  private  property  often 
found  its  way  to  the  chaplain's  office,  on  a  "no  questions  asked"  basis.  At 
times  a  chaplain  was  not  a  passive  receiver,  but  took  the  direct  approach 
in  reprimanding  a  soldier  who  had  done  the  wrong  thing.  One  private, 
after  an  interview  with  Chaplain  Martin  W.  Baumgartner,  remarked, 
"I  would  rather  be  busted  to  21  dollars  a  month  than  have  that  chaplain 
give  me  another  going  over."  However,  he  became  a  good  friend  of  the 
chaplain  and  a  regular  chapel  attendant.'^^ 

Perhaps  because  the  volume  of  counseling  was  so  heavy  there  grew 
up  a  real  concern  to  raise  the  standards  of  the  counseling  men  received. 
Giving  advice  was  rooted  in  antiquity,  but  counseling  on  a  professional 
level  was  a  more  recent  development  for  clergy,  and  the  skill  level  varied 
tremendously  among  chaplains.  The  Air  Chaplain  in  September  1943, 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


One  of  the  weaknesses  of  chaplains  in  the  Air  Forces  is  the  fact  that 
their  personal  interviews  with  the  troops  have  not  been  as  successful 
as  .  .  .  desired.  For  that  reason  a  program  for  training  of  chaplains  in 
counseling  is  considered  advisable. 

A  conference  was  held  between  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  and  Dr. 
Otis  Rice  of  the  Federal  Council  of  Churches  to  set  up  a  test  counseling 
seminar  at  Drew  Field,  Florida.  The  seminar  proved  to  be  a  success. 
Chaplain  Theodore  T.  Leen  gave  a  series  of  lectures  on  counseling  and 
led  discussions  in  which  chaplains  were  urged  to  share  their  experiences 
without  revealing  confidential  information. 

A  series  of  one  day  counseling  seminars  was  sponsored  by  the  YMCA- 
USO  for  chaplains,  civilian  clergymen  near  military  installations,  and 
USO  officials.  Names  that  would  later  become  household  words  among 
pastoral  counselors  provided  leadership  in  80  to  100  seminars  through- 
out the  United  States.  Dr.  Russel  Dicks  of  Dallas,  Texas,  Dr.  David 
Eitzen  of  the  University  of  Southern  California,  Dr.  Charles  T.  Hol- 
man  of  the  University  of  Chicago,  Dr.  Carroll  Weise,  and  Dr.  Otis  Rice 
provided  leadership  under  the  direction  of  Dr.  Marion  T.  Creeger,  and 
Dr.  Seward  Hiltner.  The  importance  of  counseling  was  also  reflected 
in  expanded  instruction  at  the  Chaplain  School,  and  many  chaplains  did 
graduate  work  in  this  field  after  the  war.  Chaplain  Joseph  L.  Shuler  said: 

The  chaplain  is  the  doctor  of  soul  sickness  just  as  the  physicians  and 
surgeons  are  doctors  of  the  wounds  of  battle  and  disease.  To  the  chaplain 
men  go  freely  with  the  most  intimate  problems  of  their  lives.  The  chap- 
lain is  their  friend,  their  counselor  and  their  companion — ready  to  listen 
to  their  troubles  and  to  help  them  solve  them.^^^ 

In  a  speech  to  officers,  General  A.  R.  Boiling  Jr.  stated  that  there  are 
three  ways  the  commander  can  affect  the  outcome  of  a  battle  once  it 
has  begun:   1.  Shift  the  fires.  2.  Commit  the  reserves.  3.  Be  there. 

The  "Be  there"  school  of  leadership  is  cognizant  of  a  factor  that 
chaplains  learned — there  is  a  ministry  in  simply  being  present  in  the 
training  areas,  break  areas,  ranges,  and  billets.  It  would  be  erroneous  to 
believe  that  chaplains  sat  in  their  offices  waiting  for  the  men  to  be  sent 
to  them.  They  visited  their  men  wherever  they  were.  Chaplain  Williston 
Wirt  said : 

Where  many  a  lad  is  hesitant  about  taking  his  troubles  to  a  chaplain, 
in  most  instances  he  will  eagerly  respond  to  an  inquiry  about  his  progress 
in  flying.  .  .  .  Then  often  it  comes  out — the  problem  over  which  he  has 
been  brooding:  'By  the  way,  chaplain,  there  was  something  I  had  in- 
tended to  speak  to  you  about.'  ^^* 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

136  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Visitation  was  viewed  by  many  chaplains  as  pre-counseling.  Others 
considered  it  a  form  of  witnessing,  of  showing  the  cross  or  tablets. 
Whatever  the  chaplain's  motives  or  interpretations,  his  presence  among 
the  troops  was  considered  so  essential  to  his  ministry  that  the  Chief  of 
Chaplains  directed  that  a  chaplain  should  spend  at  least  fifty  percent  of 
his  time  out  of  the  office  and  among  the  men. 


^Maurice  Matloff,  American  Military  History  (Washington,  D.C. :  Office  of  the  Chief  of 
Military  History,  United  States  Army,  1969),  p.  417;  and  William  Manchester,  The  Glory  and 
the  Dream,  Volume  one,  (Boston:  Little,  Brown  and  Company  1973,  1974),  p.  246. 

■Ibid.,  p.   244. 

^Ibid.,  p.   244. 

*Ibid.,  p.  276. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  245  ;  and  Matloff,  American  Military  History,  p.  418. 

"Ibid.,  p.  419. 

'Ibid.,  p.  420. 

Ubid.,  p.  421-422. 

^Ibid.,  p.  422. 

"  Matthew  16:3,  Holy  Bible,  Revised  Standard  Version.   ■ 

"  Manchester,  The  Glory  and  the  Dream,  p.  267. 

"^Ibid.,  p.   271. 

"  Bodies  But  No  Souls,  America,  Vol.  LXV,  No.  20,  23  August  1941,  p.  546. 

"  Hagiography,  America,  Vol.  LXVII,  No.  8,  2  December  1939,  p.  4. 

'■"Paul  L.  Blakely,  The  Old  War  Propaganda  and  the  Stream  Line  Model,  America,  Vol. 
LXn,  14  0ctober  1939,p.  5. 

^''Harold  Gardiner,  If  Hatred  Is  Funny  The  Comics  Will  Kill  You,  America,  Vol.  LXV, 
No.  19,  16  August  1941,  p.  516. 

"  John  A.  Toomey,  We  Are  Not  Swayed  by  War  Propaganda,  America,  Vol.  LXV,  No.  20, 
23  Aug  1941,  p.  542. 

"Carrying  The  War  Into  The  Pulpit,  The  Christian  Advocate,  Vol.  116,  No.  51,  18 
December  1941,  p.  1622. 

"War  Camp  Towns  Face  Responsibility,  The  Christian  Advocate,  Vol.  116,  No.  1,  2  Jan- 
uary 1941,  p.  5. 

-"The  Soldier's  Game,  The  Christian  Advocate,  Vol.   116,  No.  2,  9  January  1941,  p.  49. 

^  One  Million  From  Eight  Million,  The  Christian  Advocate,  Vol.  116,  No.  3,  16  January 
1941,  p.  81. 

~  Bernhard  Ragner,  The  Fall  of  France,  The  Christian  Advocate,  Vol.  116,  No.  26,  26  June 
1941,  p.  830. 

"^  Paul  L.  Blakely,  Civilians  Can  Help  Keep  The  Army  Clean,  America,  Vol.  LXV,  No.  20, 
23  August  1941,  p.  541. 

'"Does  This  Make  Sense?  The  Christian  Advocate,  Vol.  116,  No.  1,  2  January  1941,  p.  5. 

^Sydney  E.  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  The  American  People  (New  Haven:  Yale 
University  Press,  1972),  p.  950. 

^One  Million  From  Eight  Million,  The  Christian  Adovcate,  Vol.  116,  No.  3,  16  January 
1941,  p.  81. 

-'  Reinhold  Niebuhr,  The  Christian  Faith  and  the  World  Crisis,  Christianity  In  Crisis,  Vol.  1, 
No.  1,  10  February  1941,  p.  6. 

^^Christianity  In  Crisis,  Vol.  1,  No.  1,  10  February  1941,  p.  8;  Vol.  1,  No.  17,  6  October 
1941,p.  8;  Vol.  l,No.  18,  20  October  1941,  p.  1. 

™  Ahlstrom,  A  Religious  History  of  the  American  People,  p.  949. 


""Ibid.,  p.  949. 

^^  Gilbert  M.  Grosvenor,  IVe  Americans,  A  Volume  In  The  Story  of  Man  Library  (Wash- 
ington, D.C.:  The  National  Geographic  Society,  1975),  p.  406. 

^Daniel  B.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946  (Washing- 
ton, D.C. :  Office,  Chief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains,  1961 ),  p.  96. 

""Ibid.,  p.  96. 

''Ibid.,  p.   146. 

^Roy  J.  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army  (Washington,  D.C:  Office  of 
the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  Department  of  the  Army,  1958),  p.  214. 

^'^  Louis  J.  Barish,  Rabbis  In  Uniform  (New  York:  Nathan  David  Publishers,  1962),  p.  1 1  j 
and  Rabbi  To  Serve  In  Army,  New  York  Times,  17  July  1940,  p.  8:6. 

"Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  91. 

"^Ibid.,  p.  91. 

'^Ibid.,  p.  92-93. 

"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  222. 

''Ibid.,  p.  217. 

^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  90. 

''Ibid.,  p.  87. 

■"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  218. 

'^Ibid.,  p.  218-223. 

**  Manchester,  The  Glory  and  the  Dream,  p.  285. 

*'  The  figures  listed  in  the  text  are  from  Matloff,  American  Military  History,  p.  423-424, 
and  are  conservative  figures.  Jorgensen  lists  losses  at:  AAF,  152  of  231  planes  in  Hawaii,  Navy, 
87  of  169  planes,  and  6,000  casualties;  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units 

**  Grosvenor,  We  Americans,  p.  406. 

*"  Manchester,  The  Glory  And  The  Dream,  p.  317. 

^"Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  84. 

"  Ibid.,  p.  84-85. 

"Harry  P.  Richmond,  A  Rabbi  Recalls  Pearl  Harbor,  Opinion,  Vol.  XIII,  No.  12,  October 
1943,  p.  24. 

'"Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  214.  Also,  The  Story  of  the  Services 
of  Supply,  The  Office  Of  The  Chief  Of  Chaplains,  30  June  1940  to  date.  Files  of  USACHCS, 
Historical  Office,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  Si,  NY,  1  December  1942,  p.  9.  Jorgensen  states  the  total  as 
1,487  in  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  86. 

^*  Brief  Historical  Sketch,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain  Vol.  VIII,  No.  3,  January  1938, 
p.  82.  Grady,  however,  has  Arnold  born  in  Indiana:  Patricia  Grady,  The  Chief  of  Chaplains, 
U.S.A.,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  Vol.  XIII,  No.  4,  April-May  1943,  p.  13. 

^Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p  87. 

=*  Grady,  The  Chief  of  Chaplains,  U.S.A.,  p.  13.  Also:  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United 
States  Army,  p.  201.  And:  New  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  2, 
October  1937,  p.  42. 

^  Grady,  The  Chief  of  Chaplains,  U.S.A.,  p.  13. 

^'  The  Christian  Science  Publishing  Society,  The  Story  of  Christian  Science  Wartime  Activi- 
ties 1939-1946,  (Boston,  Mass.:   The  Christian  Science  Publishing  Society,  1947),  p.   167. 

^Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  87-89. 

*°  William  A.  Arnold,  We  Are  Strong  In  Spirit,  The  Country  Gentleman,  CXII,  October 
1942,  p.  10. 

^27  May  1941,  Congress  approved  Brigadier  General  grade  for  Chief  of  Chaplains.  Public 
Law  862,  78th  Congress,  28  June  1944,  approved  two  stars  for  the  Chief,  one  star  for  the  Deputy 
Chief.  They  were  actually  promoted  on  7  December  1944.  In  a  newsletter  he  reminded  the  corps 
that  he  was  still  to  be  addressed  as  chaplain  not  General. 

"'Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  88-89.  Also:  For- 
mer Chief  Appointed  Military  Delegate;  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  Vol.  XVI,  No.  1,  July- 
August  1945,  p.  19. 

"^Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  90. 

"  History  of  USACHCS,  A  Chronicle  of  the  United  States  Army  Chaplain  School  During 
the  Second  World  War:  The  First  Two  Years,  files  of  the  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wads- 
worth,  SI,  NY,  p.  1. 

138  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

'^  Ibid.,  p.  1. 

*°  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  243. 

"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  112. 

^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  244. 

**  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  113. 

"'  Honeywell,  Chaplalins  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  252. 

'^  History  of  USACHCS,  A  Chronicle  of  the  United  States  Army  Chaplain  School  During 
the  Second  World  War:  The  First  Two  Years. 

'"  Honeywill,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  250. 

''7fefrf.,p.  251. 


''^  ].  Fraser  McLuskey,  Parachute  Padre,  (London:  Student  Christian  Movement  Press, 

John  G.  Miller,  Saints  and  Parachutes,  (London:  Constable  Publishers,  1951 ). 

Francis  L.  Sampson,  Paratrooper  Padre,  (Washington,  D.C.:  The  Catholic  University 
Press,  1950.)  And  an  updated  version  including  Korea  by  the  same  author:  Look  Out  Below 
Washington,  D.C.:  The  Catholic  University  Press,  1958. 

H.  F.  Wade,  Parachute  Padre,  Liguorian  Pamphlets,  Redemptorist  Fathers,  1960. 

Donald  R.  Burgett,  Currahee! ,  (Boston:  Haughton  Mifflen  Company,  1967). 

■"'  Alfred  A.  Crowell,  Parachute  Parson,  Flying,  Vol.  33  No.  6,  December  1943  p.  43. 

"Richard  G.  Hutcheson,  Jr.,  The  Churches  and  the  Chaplalincy  (Atlanta:  John  Knox 
Press,  1975)  p.  73. 

■'^Donald  R.  Burgett,  Currahee!  p.  42. 

™  Dorothy  Freemont  Grant,  War  Is  My  Parish,  (Milwaukee,  Wisconsin:  The  Bruce  Publish- 
ing Company,  1944),  p.  18. 

^  War  Department,  Bureau  of  Public  Relations,  publicity  release,  20  March  1941  files  of  the 
Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wad&worth,  SI,  New  York.  Also:  Office  of  the  Chief  of 
Chaplains,  The  Army  Builds  a  Chapel,  27  July  1941,  files  of  the  Historical  Office,  USACHCS, 
Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^  La  Voie  Manor  Chapel,  January  1975. 

*-  Scott  Hart,  Army  Chiefs  Open  Little  Chapel  In  the  Orchard,  The  Washington  Post, 
Washington,  D.C.,  28  July  1941. 

^  Ibid. 

^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  266. 

*■''  James  H.  Young  prepared  a  questionnaire  for  former  chaplains  serving  between  1920-1945. 
This  questionnaire  will  be  referred  to  as  the  United  States  Army  Chaplain  Center  and  School 
(USACHCS)  questionnaire  and  is  on  file  by  name  of  the  respondent  at  the  Historical  Office, 
USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York.  In  this  footnote,  questionnaires  in  order  are  from: 

Kenneth  Fristoe 

Gerhard  L.  Belgum 

Kenneth  L.  Ames 

John  R.  Himes 

^Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  180.  Honeywell, 
Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  273. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  159. 

^  Bureau  of  Service  to  Military  Personnel  National  Lutheran  Council,  By  Their  Side, 
(Washington  D.C.:  Bureau  of  Service  to  Military  Personnel  National  Lutheran  Council,  1947), 
p.  11. 

*  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplain  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  242.  By  tradition 
the  "good  thief"  on  the  cross  was  St.  Dismas.  His  aide  was  invoked  when  chaplains  stole  food  and 
medicine  for  their  men  who  were  prisoners. 

®°Dan  T.  Caldwell  and  B.  L.  Bowman,  They  Answered  The  Call,  (Richmond,  Virginia: 
John  Knox  Press,  1952),  p.  52. 

°'  Ellwood  Cecil  Nance,  Faith  of  Our  Fighters,  (St.  Louis:  Bethany  Press,  1944),  p.  190. 

^^  Matloff,  American  Military  History,  p.  427. 

"'Ibid.,  p.  431-435. 

**  Ibid.,  p.  438-440. 

*' Edward  L.R.  Elson,  questionnaire  19  December  1974,  Historical  Office,  USACHES,  Ft. 
Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 


""John  Robert  Himes,  questionnaire  22  October  1974,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft. 
Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  85-86. 

"'Ibid.,  p.  85. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  85. 

^'*  US  Army  Forces  In  the  Pacific,  History  of  Chaplain's  Activities  in  the  Pacific,  Chaplains 
Section,  GHQ,  AFPAC,  1946. 

^"^  y^ayneDehoney,  Disciples  In  Uniform,  (Nashville:  Broadman  Press,  1967),  p.  101. 

^°'  The  figures  of  chaplain  prisoners,  deaths,  etc.  vary  slightly  with  different  sources.  Some 
authors  count  Army,  Nav7  and  Air  Corps  chaplains  together  as  a  total  figure.  Others  refer  only 
to  Army  and  Army  Air  Corps  chaplains.  See:  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air 
Units  1917-1946,  p.  280-281.  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  280.  U.S. 
Army  Forces  In  The  Pacific,  History  of  Chaplain  Activities  in  the  Pacific,  table  "Prisoners  of 

^"Ubid.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  erf  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  280-281 
Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  280. 

^'^  John  Anthony  Wilson  questionnairCj  29  November  1974  files  of  The  Historical  Office, 
USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^"'  Ibid. 

^*'  Termed  officially,  "Reserve  Pool  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,"  it  was  established  with  the 
school  at  Ft.  Benjamin  Harrison  on  20  February  1942.  The  Reserve  Pool  was  formally  consti- 
tuted "a  chaplain  Replacement  Pool"  on  23  February  1943,  where  it  was  co-located  with  the  school 
at  Harvard.  The  Commandant  of  the  Chaplain  School  was  the  commanding  officer  of  the  pool. 
See:  History  of  USACHCS,  Letter,  Adjutant  General's  Office,  23  February  1943,  Historical 
Office,  USACHCS.  Also:  The  Story  of  the  Services  of  Supply,  The  Office  of  the  Chief  of 
Chaplains,  30  June  1940  to  date,  314.7,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS. 

'^'"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  126. 

"**  Percy  Hickcox,  Mine  Eyes  Have  Seen,  (Boston,  Mass. :  The  Mosher  Press  1950) ,  p.  1 1. 

""^  Steve  P.  Gaskins,  Jr.,  questionnaire,  12  December  1974,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft. 
Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^^''  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  298. 

^"History  of  the  Chaplain  Section,  105th  Evacuation  Hospital,  31  March  1943  10  January 
1944,  Box  214,  Modern  Military  Section,  The  National  Archives,  Washington  D.C. 

"'  Caldwell  and  Bowman,  They  Answered  the  Call,  p.  63. 

"'  Comment,  America,  Vol.  LXVI,  Number  14  10  January  1942  p.  367. 

"'Dorothy  Fremont  Grant,  War  Is  My  Parish,  (Milwaukee- Wisconsin:  The  Bruce  Pub- 
lishing Company,  1 944 ) ,  p.  5 1 . 

'"^  William  R.  Arnold,  We  Are  Strong  In  Spirit,  The  Country  Gentleman,  Vol.  CXII, 
October  1942,  p.  10. 

""Robert  B.  Chapman,  Tell  It  to  The  Chaplain,  (New  York:  Exposition  Press,  1952),  p.  37. 

"^  J.  Gerard  Mears,  The  Chaplains  Swing  Along  with  the  Lads  in  the  Camps,  America, 
LXV,  16  August  1941,  p.  515. 

"^Owen  W.  Kerr,  War  Department  Chaplain  Monthly  Report  Form  No.  3,  February  1943, 
Washington  National  Record  Center,  Suitland,  Maryland. 

"*  Gaskins,  questionnaire,  12  December  1974. 

^°  United  States  War  Department,  The  Soldier  and  His  Religion,  Women's  Interest  Section, 
Bureau  of  Public  Relations,  (Washington  D.C. :  USWD,  1941,  p.  1-2. 

™  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  232,  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of 
Chaplains  To  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  123-124. 

^"  Extracts  from  the  Annual  Report  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  The  Army  Chaplain,  Vol.  II, 
No.  3,  January  1931,  p.  7. 

^^  Emmet  Gaylord  Jones,  questionnaire,  16  October  1974,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft. 
Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

'=*John  Ogden  Fisher,  questionnaire,  1  October  1974,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft. 
Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^^  Vernon  Paul  Jaeger,  questionnaire,  13  September  1974,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft. 
Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^^The  Story  of  Christian  Science  Wartime  Activities  1939-1946,  (Boston,  Mass:  The 
Christian  Science  Publishing  Society,  1947),  p.  174  175. 


THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

^'  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  276. 

^"-^  Ibid.,  p.  302-304. 

^^  Methodist  Commission,  Chaplains  of  the  Methodist  Church  in  World  War  II.  (Washing- 
ton, D.C.:  Methodist  Commission  on  Chaplains,  1948),  p.  63. 

'="  Memorandum  from  Chief  of  Naval  Operations,  OP-09B  ser:  3716P09B93  7  October 
1970,  Box:  Office  Management  Division,  decimal  file  200.6  affidavits  re  awards  for  the  Four 
Chaplains,  Modern  Military  Branch,  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

'=' Files  of  the  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  Dec.  1944  "Four  Chaplains,"  OCCH, 
Washington,  D.C. 

""  Daniel  A.  Poling,  "Faith  is  Power  For  You,"  "Four  Chaplains"  file.  The  Office  of  the 
Chief  of  Chaplains,  Washington,  D.C. 

^^  USACHCS  questionnaire,  Edward  Joseph  Saunders,  14  September  1974,  Historical  Office 
file,  United  States  Army  Chaplain  Center  and  School,  Fort  Wadsworth,  Staten  Island,  New  York. 

"*  Ibid.,  Herman  Henry  Heuer,  USACHCS  questionnaire. 

"- Affadavits  re:  Awards  for  the  Four  Chaplains,  Box:  Office  Management  Division,  decimal 
file  200.6,  Modern  Military  Branch. 

^^^  Ibid.  Aflfadavit  filed  by  Frank  A.  Benkler,  Quartermaster,  Merchant  Marine  Service,  and 
signed  by  Fred  Francis  Bebler,  Night  Steward,  and  Juan  L.  Alejanaro,  Gun  Crew  Messman. 

"'Richard  McHale,  The  Courier  News,  Plainfield,  New  Jersey  19  July  1965,  "Four 
Chaplains"  file,  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains. 

"^  Louis  J.  Barish,  Rabbis  in  Uniform,  (New  York:  Jonathon  David  Publishers,  1962). 
p.  286. 

^^  Francis  Beauchesne  Thornton,  Sea  of  Glory,  (New  York:  Prentice  Hall,  Inc.,  1953) . 

Chester  J.  Szymczak,  When  Time  Stood  Still,  (Philadelphia:  Dorrance,  1956). 

Joseph  Chester,  Dorchester;  Greenlaiid  Pioneer  published  privately,  2001  S.  16th  Street, 
Milwaukee,  Wisconsin,  1969. 

Daniel  A.  Poling,  Your  Daddy  Did  Not  Die,  (New  York:  Greenbert,  1944). 

^^°  Certificate  accompanying  the  Medal  for  Heroism  signed  by  President  Eisenhower  and 
Secretary  of  the  Army  Brucker,  18  January  1961,  "Four  Chaplains"  file.  Office  of  the  Chief  of 

"^Correspondence  from  Rabbi  David  Max  Eichhorn  to  Chaplain  (LTC)  James  H.  Young, 
Historical  Office  file.  United  States  Army  Chaplain  Center  and  School,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New 
York.  The  list  of  casualties  from  the  Chief's  office  puts  Liston's  death  on  7  February,  rather 
than  3  February. 

"■  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917—1946;  p.  149. 

'  Ibid. 



'  Ibid. 



'=  Ibid. 






•  Ibid. 






' Ibid. 



-» Ibid. 



'^  Ibid. 



'"-  Ibid. 






"  Ibid. 




World  War  II — From  Offense  To 


The  Military  Situation — Offensive  Phase 

In  1943  the  Army  increased  in  size  by  3  million  men.  The  President 
put  a  ceiling  on  strength  at  8.2  million.  Manpower,  production,  and 
strategy  moved  the  United  States  from  defense  to  offense.  1.5  Million 
men  were  sent  overseas  in  that  year,  more  than  two-thirds  of  the  total 
deployed  against  Germany.  The  number  of  soldiers  in  hospitals  during 
World  War  II  seldom  fell  below  200,000,  and  in  1945  peaked  at  500,000. 
In  the  course  of  the  war.  Army  casualties  totaled  936,000  battle  casual- 
ties, including  235,000  dead,  and  an  additional  83,400  nonbattle  deaths. 
The  Army's  dead  represented  about  3  percent  of  the  10,420,000  men 
who  served  in  its  ranks  during  World  War  11.^  The  chaplain  branch  was 
third  in  combat  deaths  on  a  percentage  basis,  behind  the  Air  Forces  and 
the  Infantry.  From  Pearl  Harbor  to  30  September  1945,  there  were  a 
total  of  478  casualties  among  Army  chaplains. 

Killed  in  action 63 

Wounded  in  action 273 

Prisoners  of  war  (including  14  killed,  5  died) 57 

Missing  in  action 3 

Non-battle  deaths  (accident,  disease) 82 

Total  (including  164  deaths)' 478 

The  high  casualty  rate  among  chaplains  can  be  accounted  for  partly 
by  the  presence  ministry,  the  "be  there"  school  of  thought  reported  at 
the  close  of  Chapter  III.  Catholic  chaplains,  because  of  their  theological 
framework,  especially  felt  that  their  place  was  with  the  dying,  and  many 
of  them  were  killed  while  giving  the  last  rites.  Protestant  chaplains  often 
felt  that  faith  in  the  Lord  gave  men  courage  to  face  danger,  and  being 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


142  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

"up  front"  was  for  them  a  logical  extension  of  practicing  what  they 
preached.  Jewish  chaplains  were  less  numerous  and  assigned  to  higher 
headquarters,  and  tended  to  be  less  exposed  to  combat  conditions,  never- 
theless, the  first  Jewish  chaplains  in  US  Army  history  to  die  in  war  were 
killed  in  World  War  II. 

The  North  African  campaign  from"  November  1942  through  May 
1943  marked  the  beginning  of  the  offensive  phase  of  the  war  against 
Germany  and  Italy.  This  was  followed  by  the  Sicily  Campaign,  July- 
August  1943,  the  Italian  campaign,  September  1943-May  1945,  and  the 
often-delayed  cross-channel  attack  that  landed  in  Normandy  on  6  June 
1944.  On  15  August  the  Allies  staged  another  invasion  in  southern 
France.  Faced  with  entrapment  by  the  advancing  northern  and  southern 
forces,  the  Germans  fell  back  toward  their  frontier.^  The  total  military 
collapse  of  Germany  brought  an  entirely  new  set  of  priorities  to  the  Army 
as  it  dealt  with  prisoners,  displaced  persons,  refugees,  civil  government, 
occupation  and  war  crimes.  The  chaplains  were  deeply  involved  in 
ministering  in  a  changed  setting. 

In  the  Pacific  the  offensive  phase  began  7  August  1942  with  the 
amphibious  landings  on  Guadalcanal,  followed  by  landings  on  Attn  in 
May,  and  Kiska  in  August  1943.  The  encirclement  of  Rabaul  began  in 
June  1943  by  way  of  New  Guinea  and  the  Solomons,  continued  with 
the  assault  on  Bougainville  in  November,  and  was  completed  with  the 
landings  in  western  and  central  New  Britain  from  March  to  May  1944. 
"Island  hopping,"  avoiding  strong  points,  isolating  them,  and  going  on 
toward  Japan  characterized  strategy  in  the  Pacific  to  the  end  of  the  war. 
The  1943-44  China-Burma-India  campaign  in  Southeast  Asia  bogged 
down  "in  a  mire  of  conflicting  national  purposes."  The  Philippines  cam- 
paign began  20  October  1944  and  continued  through  May  1945  in  what 
was  dubbed  "mopping  up"  operations.^  The  Atomic  bombing  of  Japan, 
total  surrender,  the  end  of  the  war,  the  morale  problems  and  separation 
of  millions  of  soldiers  from  service  brought  additional  challenges  to  the 
Army  and  its  clergy  in  uniform. 

Continued  Administrative  Developments 

The  most  striking  change  in  the  organization  of  American  military 
forces  in  recent  years  was  the  emergence  of  the  Air  Force,  first  as  an 
autonomous  division  of  the  Army,  then  as  a  primary  defense  force  on  a 
parity  with  the  Army  and  Navy.  Balloons  were  used  during  the  Civil  War 
for  observation  only.  The  rapid  development  of  the  dirigible  and  of 
machines  heavier  than  air  gave  both  a  considerable  combat  importance 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


during  the  First  World  War,  but  the  idea  that  they  were  useful  primarily 
for  observation  and  belonged  in  the  Signal  Corps  was  slow  in  yielding  to 
broader  concepts.  Before  1941,  the  importance  of  air  support  of  ground 
and  sea  forces  was  fully  demonstrated  through  experience  in  the 
European  armies.  By  the  Act  of  18  December  1941  the  President  was 
authorized  to  redistribute  certain  government  agencies  for  the  more 
efficient  prosecution  of  the  war;  and  on  28  February  1942  he  ordered 
the  reorganization  of  the  Army  into  the  Ground  Forces,  the  Air  Forces, 
and  the  Services  of  Supply.  This  arrangement  was  to  be  effective  on 
9  March  and  continue  until  6  months  after  the  end  of  the  war.^ 

Several  problems  arose  in  the  adaptation  of  the  chaplaincy  to  the 
new  organization.  The  nature  of  air  combat  quickly  demonstrated  the 
impossibility  of  chaplains  flying  with  their  men,  and  it  was  agreed  that 
their  normal  place  of  duty  was  at  the  base.  The  Chief  of  Chaplains 
discouraged  the  training  of  chaplains  as  pilots,  believing  that  it  would 
divert  time  and  interest  from  their  primary  duties.  Air  combat  involved 
sudden  dangers,  swift  action,  instant  decisions,  dash,  and  daring.  To 
meet  them  on  a  common  ground  of  understanding  it  was  considered 
important  that  chaplains  considered  for  duty  with  airmen  should  be 
young,  alert,  and  resourceful.  Because  the  nature  of  the  Air  Forces  was 
different  from  Ground  Forces,  the  argument  began  to  build  for  a 
separate  chaplaincy. 

To  accomplish  this,  staff  chaplains  were  authorized  in  the  head- 
quarters of  all  higher  echelons  of  the  organization  \vorked  out  for  the 
Air  Forces.  At  the  head  vv^as  the  Air  Chaplain,  with  important  adminis- 
trative functions.  Charles  J.  Carpenter  assumed  these  duties  on  28  July 
1942  and  performed  them  for  nearly  3  years.  On  6  April  1942  an  Air 
Force  liaison  officer  was  established  in  the  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chap- 
lains.*"  By  March  1944  the  Air  Forces  included  2,411,294  personnel,  or 
31  percent  of  Army  personnel.'  Carpenter  "expanded"  with  the  Air 
Forces,  rising  from  captain  to  colonel  bet\veen  July  '42  and  October  '43. 
1,925  chaplains  were  on  duty  with  the  Air  Forces  by  the  close  of  1944.^ 

As  the  Ground  Forces  moved  to  an  active  combat  role  the  questions 
surrounding  chaplain  supervision  required  answers.  There  were  no 
officially  designated  staff  chaplains  until  Maurice  Reynolds,  in  1940 
assigned  as  a  Corps  Area  Chaplain,  demonstrated  the  value  of  this  super- 
visory position.  Up  to  this  time  senior  chaplains  were  in  several  instances 
designated  "Department  Chaplain"  or  "Corps  Area  Chaplain"  as  an 
additional  duty,  but  supervisory  responsibilities  were  very  limited  and  the 
positions  had  no  official  recognition.  The  Chief  of  Chaplains  gave  super- 
See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

144  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

vision  through  review  of  reports  and  exchange  of  ideas  through  a  Circular 
Letter  to  all  chaplains.  There  were  almost  no  staff  visits  to  chaplains  in 
the  field  because  of  lack  of  funds. 

The  status  of  supervisory  chaplains  to  individual  chaplains  followed 
a  pattern  set  by  the  Chief  in  1941  when  he  said: 

Regimental  chaplains  are  not  to  be  considered  as  assistants  to  the 
Division  or  Post  chaplain.  It  is  rather  the  senior  chaplain  who  is  to  assist 
the  regimental  chaplain  in  working  out  the  problems  involved  in  pro- 
viding an  adequate  program  for  complete  ministry  to  their  regiments.^ 

Gynther  Storaasli,  who  succeeded  Carpenter  as  Air  Chaplain,  gave  a 
talk  to  supervisory  chaplains  in  1943 : 

In  assuming  the  spirit  of  helpful  service  to  the  less  experienced 
chaplains,  we,  who  are  called  to  function  in  supervisory  capacities,  will 
not  only  enhance  the  effectiveness  of  the  local  chaplain's  work  and  thus 
contribute  immeasurably  to  his  usefulness,  but  we  will  more  than  justify 
the  establishment  of  our  supervisory  positions,  augment  the  usefulness  of 
our  sections  in  the  military  set  up  and  thus  improve  the  whole  tone  of  the 
cause  of  God  among  the  personnel  we  serve. ^° 

Chaplain  Reynolds  was  a  bit  more  blunt  when  he  said,  "Any  chap- 
lain who  takes  offense  at  instructive  criticism  should  get  down  on  his 
knees  and  pray  that  his  .  .  .  judgment  be  broadened  and  his  magnified 
sense  of  his  own  importance  be  made  humble." 

Through  the  Chiefs  monthly  Circular  Letter,  directives,  conferences, 
correspondence,  telephone  calls,  staff  visits,  the  chaplains  Monthly 
Report,  War  Department  Form  No.  3,  and  professional  channels  the 
supervision  of  chaplains  by  chaplains  continued  to  develop.  In  September 
1944  a  Chaplain  Evaluation  Sheet  was  sent  to  all  supervisory  chaplains. 
It  asked  if  the  chaplain  being  evaluated  should  be  invited  to  remain  in 
service  and  the  response  was  classified  "Confidential." 

Chaplains  were  expected  to  maintain  discipline  of  three  types,  per- 
sonal, church,  and  military.  Personal  discipline  had  to  do  with  spiritual 
devotions,  physical  training,  and  good  health  habits  that  enabled  a  chap- 
lain to  face  the  tests  of  physical  strain,  fatigue,  and  illness.  Church 
discipline  was  the  recognition  that  chaplains  are  bound  in  their  conscience 
by  the  same  church  rules  regarding  sacramental  functions  as  they  were 
in  their  civilian  parishes.  It  was  in  this  area,  and  that  of  military  disci- 
pline, that  commanders  and  supervisors  were  sometimes  called  upon  to 

Carpenter  told  his  supervisors  in  1943: 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


If  a  chaplain  makes  a  mistake,  do  not  presume  that  this  head- 
quarters will  shift  the  chaplain  with  his  errors  into  some  other  command, 
thereby  allowing  him  to  continue  his  malfunction  as  a  chaplain. 

The  most  widely  used  method  for  handling  disciplinary  cases  was 
that  of  personal  counsel  and  reprimand  by  the  commander  and  staflF 
chaplain.  Most  commanders  were  willing  to  go  "the  second  mile"  to  help 
a  chaplain  adjust  to  the  military  life  and  give  him  freedom  to  develop  a 
good  program.  Another  method  was  reassignment,  but  handling  "prob- 
lem children"  in  this  method  was  often  ineffective.  Court-martial  and 
board  proceedings  were  used  in  some  serious  cases  involving  breach  of 
military  law  or  moral  delinquency.  The  threat  of  such  proceedings  led 
some  erring  chaplains  to  "resign  for  the  good  of  the  service."  One  of  the 
most  convenient  means  for  the  release  of  a  chaplain  who  did  not  truly 
represent  his  church  was  removal  of  the  ecclesiastical  indorsement,  which 
automatically  terminated  his  service. 

By  design  from  the  Chief's  Office,  the  Regular  Army  Chaplains  were 
moved  into  supervisory  positions,  because  of  experience  and  the  belief 
that  they  would  be  sticking  around  after  the  war  and  could  gain  expertise 
in  administration  that  would  be  needed  in  a  branch  that  would  in  all 
probability  be  much  larger  than  it  had  been  before  the  war. 

In  God  We  Trust 

Leo  Marx  wrote  that  there  is  a  fundamental  way  in  which  Ameri- 
can life  is  unique.  "I  mean  the  pervasive,  slow  dying  American  belief 
in  the  nation's  unique,  not  to  say  providential,  destiny  .  .  .  the  sense  of 
mission  that  still  permeates  our  lives,  private  and  public,  in  the  United 
States."  Throughout  American  history,  Marx  contended,  there  is  a  sense 
that  the  nation  is  a  new  Israel.  ".  .  .  .A  sense  of  the  sacred,  and  of  being 
at  the  center,  was  transferred  to  American  soil  by  the  Puritans."  "  The 
belief  in  the  rightness  of  their  cause,  the  equation  of  God's  will  with  the 
strategic  and  tactical  plans  of  the  United  States  Army  were  notes  found 
again  and  again  in  chaplains'  sermons,  prayers,  and  writings. 

A  lad  stood  guard  in  the  sun  on  a  troop  ship  and  was  felled  by  sun- 
stroke; he  became  ill  to  the  point  of  death.  His  chaplain  wrote  of  it, 
saying  he  bowed  his  head  and  asked  the  Lord  to  protect  the  boy,  to  give 
him  life  so  he  might  continue  with  the  great  task  before  him,  "O  Lord, 
if  it  be  Thy  will,  keep  death  from  this  ship.  We  are  on  a  mission  to  de- 
stroy paganism  and  barbarianism  before  they  destroy  our  democracy 
which.  You  know  Father,  comes  from  the  teachings  of  Your  son."  He 
pointed  out  that  they  were  ready  to  give  their  lives  in  the  struggle  to 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

146  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

preserve  on  earth  the  Lord's  way  of  Hfe.  A  great  struggle  awaited  them. 
"Spare  us,  then,  this  man,  so  he,  too,  may  be  able  to  strike  his  blow  at 
the  enemy.  Amen."  The  soldier  recovered.^" 

Another  chaplain,  Percy  Hickox,  reflected  on  the  problem  of  the 
religious  believer  in  uniform  and  wrote,  *'A  final  question  concerning  the 
soldier  and  his  religion  is  that  which  inquires  whether  the  chaplains  are 
prostituting  religious  faith  to  the  war  machine.  They  are  not."  He  felt 
that  chaplains  were  free  to  preach  their  own  convictions  and  were  in  no 
manner  circumscribed  in  their  utterances  by  the  military  situation  in 
which  they  found  themselves.  He  said  that  a  true  religious  faith  steadied 
the  believer  and  held  him  with  a  sure  anchor  in  shifting  tides  of  life; 
and  this  was  true  whether  the  storm  came  in  civilian  or  in  military 
surroundings.  "We  do  preach  that  the  soldier  who  has  a  faith  to  hold 
him  is  therefore  a  better  soldier  in  combat  ..."  He  believed  that  religion 
made  a  better  soldier,  for  in  the  final  analysis  it  was  the  quality  of  the 
soldier  which  was  the  final  factor  in  battle.  The  government  might 
provide  him  with  the  finest  of  weapons,  but  if  he  gave  way  to  fearful 
apprehensions  and  threw  them  away,  they  were  of  no  value.  "I  am 
happy  that  my  contribution  in  the  field  of  religion  is  a  decisive  factor  in 
the  war  effort.  I  should  still  remain  in  the  ranks  of  the  chaplaincy  if  this 
were  not  the  case ;  but  my  enthusiasm  for  my  work  is  enhanced  by  the 
consciousness  of  a  military  mission  which  is  also  met  in  my  work."  He 
went  on  to  say  that  because  of  these  factors  more  than  one  commanding 
officer  stated  that  his  chaplain  was  the  most  valuable  staff  officer  he 

"We  have  called  you  to  do  a  terrible  job,"  wrote  Ralph  W.  Nelson,  a 
philosophy  professor.  "The  Nation  called  you  .  .  .  But  by  her  prayers  the 
church  has  participated  in  this  call.  She  has  prayed  that  you  might  have 
God's  help  in  your  appalling  work."  Nelson  characterized  wartime 
prayer  as  asking  God  to  please  aid  the  soldier  to  get  the  job  done 
quickly,  and  with  protection  for  our  side;  to  get  the  job  done  with  a 
minimum  of  suffering  and  danger  to  ourselves,  and  with  a  maximum  of 
destruction  to  the  foe.  The  implicit  assumption  was  that  our  side  was 
just,  and  that  the  allies  were  God's  accredited  instruments." 

This  was  evidenced  in  the  religious  life  of  the  church  and  syna- 
gogue by  special  prayers  for  the  success  of  the  Normandy  invasion.  The 
Right  Reverend  Henry  St.  George  Tucker,  presiding  Bishop  of  the  Pro- 
testant Episcopal  Church,  and  president  of  the  Federal  Council  of 
Churches  of  Christ  in  America,  wrote  a  special  prayer  to  be  oflFered  in 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


all  the  churches  on  "Invasion  Day,"  and  suggested  that  churches  be 
opened  for  the  use  of  the  people.  The  prayer  said  in  part: 

O  righteous  and  omnipotent  God,  Who,  in  their  tragedies  and 
conflicts,  judgest  the  hearts  of  men  and  the  purposes  of  nations,  enter 
into  this  struggle  with  Thy  transforming  power  .  .  .  May  there  arise  a 
new  order  which  shall  endure  because  in  it  Thy  will  shall  be  done  on 
earth  as  it  is  in  heaven.  .  .  ."  ^^ 

Catholic  Bishop  William  T.  Manning  issued  a  prayer  for  use  dur- 
ing the  invasion  which  said: 

Grant,  we  beseech  Thee,  speedy  victory  to  the  forces  of  right  and 
freedom  for  the  sake  of  all  mankind.  Uphold,  strengthen  and  protect 
those  who  are  serving  in  our  armed  forces  ....  And  give  us  on  the  home- 
front  faithfulness  to  do  our  part . . .  .  "  ^® 

The  president  of  the  Association  of  Reformed  Rabbis,  William  F. 
Rosenbaum,  announced  that  not  only  would  his  members  take  part  in 
prayer  services  for  the  invasion  when  it  came,  but  that  beginning  im- 
mediately they  would  pray  at  every  service  "a  special  prayer  for  the 
Allied  men  and  armies."  It  asked : 

Be  especially  with  those  who  stand  on  the  threshold  of  the  great 
struggle  against  the  forces  of  evil  which  is  to  liberate  millions  of  our  fel- 
low-men in  Axis-occupied  lands  from  the  darkness  and  dread  of  per- 
secution. Be  with  them  when  they  need  Thee  most  in  the  hour  of  deci- 
sive combat."  ^^ 

Such  attitudes  were  as  much  a  part  of  history  as  the  chronicaling  of 
events.  They  reflected  the  climate  out  of  which  the  chaplains'  ministry 
was  performed  in  the  midst  of  shot  and  the  smell  of  cordite. 

The  Wartime  Ministry — Continued 

Training  continued  throughout  the  war  and  the  ministry  described 
earlier  never  ceased.  But  increasingly  chaplains  were  involved  in 
sustained  combat  with  their  men.  The  principal  differences  between 
chaplain  activities  in  combat  and  those  during  training  periods  were  that 
in  combat,  (a)  chaplains  operated  on  an  irregular  schedule;  (b)  the  men 
were  continually  conscious  of  the  possibility  of  death  and  were  inclined 
to  give  more  serious  attention  to  religion;  (c)  the  wounded  became  an 
important  part  of  the  chaplains'  concern;  (d)  caring  for  the  dead  and 
assisting  in  graves  registration  was  an  added  responsibility;  (e)  religious 
ministrations  were  conducted  with  a  minimum  of  shelter  and 
equipment.  ^^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

148  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINGY--1920-1945 

It  was  not  only  exposure  to  danger  that  made  the  life  of  a  frontlme 
chaplain  difficult,  but  also  the  nature  of  his  ministry,  which  made  it 
almost  impossible  to  return  nightly  to  the  shelter  provided  for  him.  One 
chaplain  was  said  to  live  "like  a  gypsy."  It  was  said  of  him  ".  .  .  he  is 
lucky  if  one  night  in  seven  he  finds  a  cot  or  dilapidated  bed  to  sleep  in. 
Usually  he  has  to  bunk  under  a  tent  or  in  the  open."^"  A  summary  of 
chaplain  activities  in  the  Pacific  added  climate  as  an  enemy : 

In  many  cases  the  chaplain's  efficiency  would  decrease  after  a  year 
in  the  tropics.  Many  were  returned  to  the  States  with  broken  health. 
Many  were  subject  to  serious  skin  diseases  which  were  difficult  to  clear 
up  under  existing  conditions."" 

Some  broke  down  from  overwork ;  others  found  the  sensitivity  of  a 
pastor's  heart  difficult  to  reconcile  with  the  reality  of  war,  and  suffered 
from  "nerves."  A  supervising  chaplain  wrote,  "One  older  man  we  are 
shifting  because  he  cried  when  planes  took  off  on  a  mission,  and 
thanked  God  publicly  when  planes  returned,  saying  publicly  that  he  had 
not  expected  to  see  them  return  alive.  We  are  placing  him  with  ground 
engineers.  Maybe  that  will  bring  him  back  to  earth. ""^  Men  did  not 
know  when  they  would  return  from  the  war.  There  was  no  established 
date  of  return,  but  a  vague  term  known  as  "in  for  the  duration." 
Regularly  established  rotation  plans,  and  rest  and  recuperation  programs 
were  not  a  factor  in  the  thoughts  of  men  who  headed  toward  Europe  or 
the  Pacific  in  1943.  Periods  of  relief  or  rest  for  the  unit  were  not  usually 
periods  of  rest  for  the  chaplain;  the  counseling  problems  that  could  not 
be  handled  in  combat  were  dealt  with  in  "stand  down"  situations. ^^ 

The  chaplains  were  volunteers,  and  many  actively  sought  combat 
duty — not  because  they  thought  they  would  enjoy  war,  but  because  they 
felt  they  could  make  a  more  effective  contribution  in  ministering  to  men 
under  such  conditions.  Yoder  P.  Leith  was  written  up  in  Yank  as  a 
combat  chaplain.  One  of  his  surprises  was  the  "morale  of  the  men  was 
better  in  the  combat  area  than  to  the  rear.  Everyone  at  the  front  'pulled 
together.'  "  Later  he  said  of  his  experiences,  "I  was  often  in  danger,  and 
was  once  wounded,  but  I  found  none  of  these  experiences 
'harrowing' — only  'interesting.'  "  "^ 

The  difference  between  heroic  chaplains  and  those  who  also  served 
as  they  stood  and  waited  sometimes  depended  on  "the  luck  of  the 
draw."  Lewis  H.  Grimes,  a  Texas  Methodist,  wrote  about  a  time  when 
the  Aid  Station  was  split  in  two  during  an  advance. 

Both  medical  officers  were  with  the  other  section.  A  warrant  officer 
and  I  were  with  the  other  detail.  It  turned  out,  surprisingly,  that  our 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


section  met  with  the  resistance  that  the  other  section  expected.  And  I 
found  that  I  could  function  throughout  one  night  in  an  emergency  situa- 
tion as  a  fairly  effective  medical  aid  person." 

(He  was  more  than  an  effective  medical  aid  person,  and  went  on  to  win 
the  Legion  of  Merit;  he  wrote  eight  books,  and  served  from  1949  as 
Professor  of  Christian  Education  at  Perkins  School  of  Theology, 
Southern  Methodist  University,  Dallas,  Texas.  )"^  Francis  A. 
Cunningham,  a  Catholic  priest,  had  a  totally  different  experience. 
"Chaplains  were  supposed  to  be  in  short  supply,  but  we  went  with  our 
hospital  for  a  whole  year  together  without  getting  a  single  patient."  And 
another  chaplain  reported:  ".  .  .  They  let  5  of  us  sit  in  the  Port  of 
Embarkation  for  8  months.""^ 

The  experiences  of  some  men  were  picked  up  by  the  press;  the 
majority  went  unheralded.  Leland  L.  Loy  said  he  was  shot  at  by  the 
German  88,  (a  fearful  weapon  that  appeared  often  in  the  memory  of 
those  recounting  World  War  II  experiences)  blown  out  of  holes  by 
bombs,  saw  "men  step  on  mines  behind  and  before  me  .  .  .  strafed,  shot 
at  by  snipers  .  .  .  normal  combat  but  the  abnormal,  never  got  touched, 
or  wounded,  just  scared  stiff  perpetually."'^  Some  rose  to  prominence 
in  an  isolated  moment,  while  others  found  that  opportunity  knocked  on 
their  door  repeatedly.  Earnest  E.  Eells,  a  Presbyterian  from  Virginia, 
became  well  acquainted  with  such  summons  to  duty  in  Africa  and 
France.  On  the  beach  at  Salerno,  when  no  one  else  appeared,  he  and 
Chaplain  Schleede  directed  the  traffic  coming  ashore  and  found  the 
location  of  the  proper  unit  for  a  bivouac.  "Schleede  deserv^ed 
commendation  for  this  as  he  was  doing  something  out  of  his  line  of 
duty,"  he  wrote.  Near  Naples  he  crawled  under  an  overturned  medic's 
supply  wagon  and  rescued  the  medic  and  driver  at  great  personal  risk 
while  gasoline  ran  over  them.  It  was  mentioned  in  the  100th  Battalion 
history,  but  he  received  no  award.  Later,  a  chaplain  he  served  with  took 
a  squad  of  German  prisoners  along  the  Volturno  River,  and  "I  took  four 
German  prisoners  with  their  guard,  a  Hawaiian  from  the  100th 
Battalion,  from  a  bridge  over  the  Mussolini  Canal  .  .  ."  that  was  about 
to  be  blown  up.  (Eells'  son.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Calvin  Edward  Eells, 
won  a  DSC  in  World  War  II ;  another  son,  David,  a  lieutenant  in  the 
Korean  war,  won  a  Silver  Star  and  Purple  Heart ;  and  a  stepson,  Robert 
W.  Gallagher,  a  Navy  lieutenant  commander,  was  killed  in  action  at  Iwo 

Another  chaplain  who  found  repeated  opportunities  to  demonstrate 
courage  under  fire  was  William  E.  King.  In  peacetime  he  served  as  pastor 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  11 

150  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

of  the  Maywood  Baptist  Church  in  Kansas  City,  Missouri.  In  war  he  was 
a  pastor  on  the  Sicihan  front.  During  the  battle  of  San  Rosso  Hill  the 
body  of  an  American  soldier  lay  on  the  highway  between  friendly  and 
enemy  lines.  The  chaplain  and  three  men  took  a  jeep  and  drove  down 
the  highway  to  recover  him.  The  Germans  let  the  group  reach  the  body 
and  wrap  it  in  a  blanket;  as  they  were  lifting  it  into  the  jeep,  an  88 
opened  up.  King  directed  the  men  to  take  cover  while  he  drove  back  to 
friendly  lines  through  the  enemy  fire.  In  the  dead  man's  pocket  were 
five  unopened  letters  from  home,  which  the  chaplain  dehvered  to  him  in 
the  front  lines  during  the  previous  night. 

A  few  days  earlier  Chaplain  King  was  slightly  wounded  while 
carrying  water  to  frontline  troops  attacking  a  hill.  "The  boys  needed 
water  badly,  so  I  and  a  helper  took  it  up  to  them.  I  put  down  a  5  gallon 
can  when  it  exploded  straight  up.  A  piece  of  shrapnel  grazed  my  right 
hand  and  cut  a  hole  in  my  right  trouser  leg,  while  my  companion  was 
more  seriously  hurt.  Near  Cakagirona,  King  demonstrated  under  fire 
that  he  was  ready  to  minister  to  both  friend  and  foe,  an  experience  shared 
by  many  chaplains  throughout  the  war.  As  big  guns  and  tanks  slugged 
it  out,  King  crawled  to  assist  a  German  whose  leg  was  fractured  by 
machine  gun  bullets.  He  knelt  behind  a  low  stone  wall,  made  temporary 
splints,  bandaged  tHe  enemy  soldier,  and  gave  him  water.  He  discovered 
that  the  German  was  flown  there  only  the  day  before,  and  had  been  in 
the  front  lines  just  eight  hours.  "He  patted  my  hand  and  looked  his 
gratitude,  saying  afterward  through  an  interpreter  that  he  had  been 
told  Americans  mutilated  their  prisoners.""^ 

James  P.  Galvin  experienced  the  fact  that  war  can  have  a  fallout  on 
the  innocent,  unexpected  and  tragic.  He  remembered  a  bomber  on  routine 
checkout  flight  that  was  caught  in  a  storm  over  Wharton,  England;  it 
crashed  into  a  tea  cafe  and  a  kindergarten,  killed  more  than  fifty,  and 
horribly  burned  many."^  He  ministered  to  the  survivors,  helping  them  to 
find  faith  in  soul-trying  circumstances;  it  was  not  something  that  could 
be  statistically  reported,  but  it  was  part  of  the  wartime  ministry. 

Midnight  mass  on  Christmas  1943  found  Edward  G.  Finnerty  at 
Maison  Blanche,  Algiers.  A  French  and  British  chaplain  assisted,  while 
a  French  group  provided  music  which  was  soon  drowned  out  by  Italian 
prisoners  of  war  allowed  out  of  the  stockade  for  the  occasion.  Some 
2,000  French,  American,  British,  and  Yugoslav  troops  attended.  The 
nativity  scene  used  as  a  backdrop  for  the  altar  was  painted  by  an  Italian 
prisoner.'"'  John  T.  Byrne  wrote :  "When  Italian  POWs  became  'Friendly 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Co-Belligrants'  attitudes  changed.  Only  one  POW  remained  adamant 
in  his  Fascism — you  guessed  it.  He  was  a  chaplain  !"^^ 

Many  chaplains  took  prisoners,  even  though  they  were  unarmed. 
Richard  H.  Chase  captured  four  Italians  at  El  Guettar.  He  had  taken  a 
detail  of  men  to  fetch  the  bodies  of  some  soldiers  killed  high  up  in  the 
hills.  He  was  using  five  Italian  prisoners  with  an  American  guard  for  this 
detail.  Suddenly,  three  or  four  handkerchiefs  appeared  in  a  small  wadi 
ahead.  Four  Italians  rose  with  their  hands  in  the  air.  "I'm  sure  grateful 
they  weren't  in  a  belligerent  mood  ...  or  I  would  have  looked  like  a 
sieve,"  he  said.  They  were  disarmed,  searched,  and  added  to  the  detail. ^^ 

Chaplains  sometimes  found  themselves  on  rosters,  on  a  "one  from 
each  section"  basis,  as  did  Thomas  E.  Hayes.  The  roster  was  for  duty  at 
a  traffic  control  point  at  a  bridgehead  over  the  Elbe.  Hayes  "rendered 
outstanding  service  by  detecting  and  capturing  three  German  officers 
who  tried  to  pass  him  at  the  traffic  control  point  in  a  captured  American 
vehicle."  '' 

Supervisory  chaplains  had  their  problems  in  combat.  As  he  looked 
down  the  roster  of  XVIII  Airborne  Corps  chaplains  "the  boss"  noted 
that:  Robert  M.  Hennon  was  missing  in  action  since  Normandy;  Ignatius 
P.  Matemowski  was  killed  in  action;  David  W.  Ryan  was  hospitalized 
with  malaria;  Matthew  J.  Connelly  was  hospitalized  with  an  injury.  Later 
John  J.  Verret  was  killed;  Francis  L.  Sampson  was  captured;  William  B. 
Byrd  suffered  a  broken  back  during  a  practice  jump ;  Paschal  D.  Fowlkes 
was  killed  in  action  and  George  Grain  wounded.^*  Not  only  did  they  have 
to  fight  for  replacements,  try  to  administer  an  ever  changing  roster  in  an 
ever  changing  locale,  cope  with  constantly  changing  troop  strengths; 
supervisory  chaplains  also  found  prisoners  of  war,  displaced  persons, 
staiving  civilian  populations,  national  pastors,  and  the  burial  of  the  dead 
added  to  their  concerns. 

On  the  basis  of  experiences  in  World  War  I,  official  Army  doctrine 
at  the  beginning  of  hostilities  in  the  European  Theater  defined  the 
battalion  aid  station  as  the  chaplain's  normal  post  of  duty  during 
combat.  As  exceptions  to  the  general  rule,  Catholic  chaplains  were 
sometimes  stationed  at  regimental  collecting  points  where  they  could 
serve  a  wider  Catholic  population.  Some  commanding  officers  expressed 
the  opinion  that  chaplains  should  be  with  the  most  forward  elements. 
The  value  of  such  a  procedure  for  morale  had  to  be  balanced  against  the 
fact  that  the  chaplain  could  minister  to  only  a  very  few  men  at  most; 
exposed  to  unnecessary  hazards,  he  potentially  robbed  his  unit  of  all 
chaplain  ministrations  until  he  was  replaced.^" 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

152  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Many  chaplains  demonstrated  tenacity  concerning  their  duties. 
WilHam  E.  Capron  broke  his  ankle  and  would  have  been  replaced,  but 
refused  to  leave,  and  held  mass  with  his  leg  in  a  cast.^*^  George  B.  Riddle 
was  division  chaplain  with  the  82nd  Airborne  Division.  He  was  badly 
injured  around  the  face  and  head  in  a  glider  accident.  He  refused 
evacuation,  worked  during  the  day,  and  spent  evenings  at  the  hospital 
as  a  patient.  Finally  an  attack  of  malaria  forced  his  return  to  the  United 

Charles  Lynnwood  Brown,  a  North  Carolina  Presbyterian,  jumped 
from  the  lead  plane  on  15  August  1944  in  the  invasion  of  Southern 
France.  He  broke  an  ankle  and  was  slightly  wounded  by  machine  gun 
fire.  The  French  Red  Cross  rescued  him  and  three  days  later  he  was  in  a 
hospital  in  Naples.  A  few  weeks  later,  disturbed  by  reports  of  disaster  to 
his  regiment,  he  "escaped"  from  the  hospital  with  the  help  of  a  nurse, 
caught  the  blood  bank  plane  and  rejoined  his  unit  in  combat. ^^  Albert  J. 
Hoffman  lost  a  leg  near  Cassino,  Italy.  He  was  considered  "the  most 
decorated  chaplain"  and  his  combat  exploits  were  written  up  in  Saturday 
Evening  Post,  Time,  Newsweek,  Life,  and,  "There  were  also  a  couple  of 
comic  books  that  featured  me,  and  one  syndicated  cross  word  puzzle."  ^^ 
The  decorations  and  publicity  missed  the  fact  that  some  of  his  best 
pastoral  work  was  done  when  he  was  himself  a  patient.  His  ministry  to 
fellow  amputees  was  more  meaningful  because  of  his  wounds,  and  his  self 
effacing  humility  revealed  a  spiritual  maturity  and  strength  that  carried 
many  a  young  soldier  past  self  pity  to  a  new  way  of  looking  at  life.  He 
said  "I've  met  the  finest  men  in  the  United  States.  I've  lived  with  them, 
worked  with  them  and  suffered  with  them,  and  I've  seen  them  die."  Even 
though  trained  to  be  hard  fighting  men,  he  considered  them  incapable  of 
hating  the  enemy.  "They  are  a  fine  crowd,  and  I  am  proud  to  have  been 
with  them  and  to  have  kept  them  company."  *" 

Others  gave  up  a  bit  more  easily.  Michael  B.  Kaufmann,  who  com- 
manded the  2nd  Battalion,  60th  Infantry,  9th  Infantry  Division,  told  of 
how  they  got  rid  of  their  chaplain,  who  was  a  "sin  buster."  In  England, 
prior  to  the  Normandy  invasion,  English  girls  of  the  area  were  sometimes 
unofficially  invited  to  the  camp.  The  chaplain  took  real  delight  in  ferret- 
ing out  sin  and  would  burst  through  the  door  of  an  officers'  quarters  to 
confront  a  surprised  couple  innocently  having  tea.  After  complaints  to 
the  commanding  officer  were  met  with  the  objection  that  one  could  not 
interfere  with  the  chaplain  in  his  performance  of  duty,  one  captain 
decided  to  "get  the  sanctimonious  SOB."  At  a  prearranged  signal,  female 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


laughter  was  heard  coming  from  one  of  the  rooms;  when  the  chaplain 
burst  through  the  door,  he  found  himself  staring  down  the  barrel  of  a 
cocked  .45  caliber  automatic  pistol.  The  next  day  the  chaplain  asked  for 
transfer  to  a  medical  unit,  and  his  request  was  granted.^^ 

Chaplain  Joseph  A.  Gilmore,  in  the  final  battle  for  Rome,  discovered 
that  while  he  was  ministering  to  the  sick,  a  machine  gun  bullet  from  a 
strafing  aircraft  had  pierced  his  pillow.  When  he  tried  to  get  some  sleep 
he  was  awakened  and  summoned  to  the  admissions  tent  of  the  hospital 
to  care  for  incoming  wounded.  Another  aircraft  fired  into  the  tent  and 
nine  men  were  killed,  among  them  the  faithful  priest.  He  died  while 
annointing  an  enlisted  man.  In  the  last  moment  of  his  life,  "in  his  hand 
was  found  the  cotton  dipped  in  oil,  ready  to  carry  on  his  earthly  work 
even  until  the  God  he  served  called  him  home."  Gregory  Kennedy  said 
his  Requiem  Mass.*" 

Milton  O.  Beebe  served  as  the  Mediterranean  Theater  Chaplain.  In 
reporting  to  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  he  wrote :  "Father  Pat  Ryan  is  doing 
a  good  piece  of  work  in  the  5th  Army.  He  runs  a  good  office  and  adminis- 
ters the  work  of  chaplains  there  splendidly.  His  associate.  Chaplain 
Charles  Brown  is  very  effective. "  *^  (Ryan  and  Brown  were  both  later 
selected  to  be  Chief  of  Chaplains.)  Upon  the  fall  of  Rome,  4  June  1944, 
services  of  Thanksgiving  were  held.  On  6  June,  at  11:00  A.M.,  Pope 
Pius  XII  held  the  first  public  audience  since  the  beginning  of  the  war. 
On  the  11th  Chaplain  Ryan  said  mass  at  Santa  Maria  degl'Angeli  on 
the  Piazzi  Esedera.  The  deacon  was  a  French  chaplain,  the  subdeacon 
was  British,  the  Sistine  Choir  of  the  Vatican  sang,  and  1 0,000  worshippers 
attended.**  On  30  June  the  Pope  held  a  private  audience  for  American 
Catholic  chaplains.  He  said: 

"In  this  tragic  hour  of  human  history  .  .  .  you  have  hurried  with 
eager,  unselfish  zeal  in  pursuit  of  souls  that  have  been  caught  up  in  the 
maelstrom  of  war  and  thrown  into  the  perils  of  battle  and  the  tempta- 
tions of  a  soldiers  life.  .  .  .  No  ordinary  shepherds  of  souls  are  needed 
here  . . .  Your  Bishops  . . .  have  given  of  their  best "  ^^ 

1943  was  remembered  sorrowfully  in  the  annals  of  American  Jewish 
Army  chaplains.  Four  Jewish  chaplains  died  that  year  while  in  the 
service:  Alexander  D.  Goode,  the  first  Jewish  chaplain  killed  in  action  in 
any  of  America's  wars;  Herman  L.  Rosen;  Henry  Goody;  and  Samuel 
Hurwitz.  Aaron  Paperman  became  the  first  Jewish  chaplain  to  reach  the 
continent  of  Europe,  and  held  the  first  Jewish  service  in  the  former  Nazi 
empire.*'  After  the  liberation  of  Lyons,  France,  on  15  September  1944, 
the  Jewish  Colony  rededicated  the  synagogue.  1,500  Jews  attended.  The 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

154  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

American  Jewish  chaplain  and  his  assistant  were  invited  and  spoke  at  the 
service.  "It  was  this  Jewish  synagogue  that  had  been  viciously  desecrated 
by  the  German  Army,  having  been  vandalized  according  to  plan  and  a 
big  beer  party  staged  in  the  place  of  worship."  ''  David  Eichom  held 
services  in  a  synagogue  in  Luneville,  France,  on  26  September  1944, 
before  the  town  was  officially  taken.  The  city  was  literally  between  the 
lines.  Eichom  wrote,  "This  was  probably  the  only  time  in  American 
military  history  when  soldiers  got  up  out  of  their  fox  holes  to  go  forward 
to  worship  .  .  ."  ^^ 

Chaplain  Eugene  E.  Campbell,  a  Mormon,  was  headed  for  Fulda, 
Germany,  to  meet  his  headquarters  unit.  He  was  detoured  by  a  destroyed 
bridge  and  as  he  traveled  through  two  German  towns  he  noticed  that  the 
citizens  had  white  sheets  hanging  out.  When  he  got  to  Fulda  he  found 
that  his  unit  had  not  arrived.  Questioned  later  as  to  where  he  had  been, 
the  officer  in  charge  said,  "Congratulations,  chaplain,  you  just  conquered 
two  towns."  ^® 

Several  chaplains  were  not  as  lucky  as  Campbell  and  were  cap- 
tured by  the  enemy,  either  because  they  elected  to  stay  with  the 
wounded,  or  because  they  became  separated  from  their  own  troops  while 
working  near  the  front.  Eugene  L.  Daniel  was  one  of  the  first  chaplains 
captured,  taken  by  the  German  Africa  Corps  in  Tunisia,  16  February 
1943.  He  stayed  behind  with  wounded  Americans  and  Germans  when 
his  unit  was  forced  to  withdraw.  He  was  later  awarded  the  Distin- 
guished Service  Cross  for  this  action.  (Earlier  he  won  a  Silver  Star  in 
the  assault  on  Algiers. )  The  German  officer  in  command  of  his  captors 
wrote  Chaplain  Daniel  a  letter  of  commendation.  The  chaplain  spent 
twenty-six  months  as  a  POW  in  Germany.  He  was  allowed  freedom  to 
preach  and  minister  to  American  and  allied  troops  throughout  his 

Seven  chaplains  of  the  106th  Division  were  captured  during  a 
breakthrough  at  the  Siegfried  Line.  The  fighting  was  heavy  for  five  days 
prior  to  their  capture ;  the  men  had  practically  no  sleep,  and  little  time 
for  eating.  Harry  W.  Alexander  took  charge  of  collecting  the  woimded 
and  surrendered  with  forty  of  them.  He  refused  to  leave  the  woods  until 
he  was  certain  no  wounded  were  left  behind.  The  next  morning  seven 
thousand  officers  and  men,  including  the  seven  chaplains,  were  marched 
thirty-six  miles  without  food  then  herded  into  boxcars,  sixty  men  to  a 
car,  and  shifted  through  railway  yards  in  Germany  for  the  next  seven 
days.  Bombed  by  American  planes  at  Limburg,  nine  officers  were  killed. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Four  chaplains  from  the  28th  Division  were  added  to  the  prisoner  total. 
On  Christmas  Day,  services  were  held  in  every  boxcar ;  even  under  such 
conditions  of  anxiety  and  uncertainty,  the  joyful  music  of  Christmas 
carols  filled  the  railroad  station.  A  group  of  civilians  brought  a  Christ- 
mas tree  into  the  railway  yard  and  sang  "Away  in  a  Manger."  It  was  also 
the  day  the  men  received  their  first  food — one  Red  Cross  box  per  seven 
men.  Three  days  later  they  were  imprisoned  at  Bad  Orb,  Stalag  9-B. 
Breakfast  consisted  of  a  canteen  cup  of  German  coffee  without  milk  or 
sugar.  A  cupful  of  thin  soup — potato,  carrot,  turnip,  beet,  or  pea — made 
up  the  noon  meal.  No  evening  meal  was  provided.  A  daily  ration  of  one- 
sixth  to  one-tenth  of  a  loaf  of  bread,  two  spoonsfuls  weekly  of  sugar,  mar- 
garine, and  jerry  jam  completed  the  menu.  The  men  lost  from  forty  to 
sixty  pounds  in  their  one  hundred  and  eight  days  as  prisoners.  Some 
chaplains  held  prayer  meetings  every  night,  "for  the  men  were  desperate 
for  hope  and  assurance."  ^^ 

Francis  L.  Sampson  was  probably  captured  the  most  times.  He 
jumped  in  with  the  101st  Airborne  Division  in  the  invasion  of  Nor- 
mandy, landed  in  a  stream  and  located  his  chaplain's  kit  after  the  fifth 
or  sixth  dive.  He  stayed  behind  with  the  wounded,  changed  bandages, 
said  prayers,  and  was  cooking  some  hot  chocolate  for  the  wounded  when 
German  paratroopers  appeared  in  the  yard.  He  went  out  to  surrender 
and  was  nearly  shot,  but  a  noncommissioned  officer  stopped  his  would- 
be  executioners.  Sampson  said  he  was  so  scared  that  instead  of  the  act 
of  contrition,  he  said  the  grace  before  meals !  He  was  allowed  to  stay  with 
the  wounded.  An  American  counterattack  freed  him.  On  his  next  jump 
into  combat,  in  Holland,  he  again  landed  in  the  water,  a  moat  surround- 
ing a  castle.  Nearly  captured  again,  he  went  to  Bastogne  with  his  unit, 
and  they  were  soon  surrounded.  He  attempted  to  reach  some  wounded 
men  and  was  captured  again.  Sampson's  experience  was  similar  to 
others :  sealed  in  a  train  for  six  days  without  food  or  water,  unexpected 
American  bomber  attacks,  and  religious  services  held  under  seemingly 
impossible  conditions." 

In  the  airborne  invasion  of  Holland,  Raymond  S.  Hall,  Robert  S. 
Scott,  and  Tilden  S.  McGee  were  captured. ^^  John  W.  Handy,  Jr.,  as- 
signed to  the  375  Engineer  Regiment,  was  lost  behind  German  lines 
with  only  his  driver  for  company  during  the  battle  for  St.  Lo.'^ 

Chaplains  have  always  shown  a  special  concern  for  the  sick  and 
wounded.  Again  and  again  they  did  extraordinary  things  to  minister  to 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

156  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

them  and  protect  them  as  well.  Gerard  W.  Taggart  served  with  the 
175th  Infantry  Regiment  in  the  29th  Infantry  Division.  His  units  was: 

".  .  .  subjected  to  heavy  enemy  artillery  and  machine  gun  fire 
followed  by  a  violent  counterattack,  resulting  in  the  surrounding  of  a 
building  in  which  the  medical  detachment  was  treating  casualties. 
After  the  enemy  had  mercilessly  sprayed  the  aid  station  with  direct  ma- 
chine gun  fire,  they  then  asked  its  personnel  and  wounded  to  surren- 
der. In  an  attempt  to  protect  the  wounded,  Chaplain  Taggart  emerged 
from  the  aid  station  building  with  his  hands  in  the  air  but  was  met  by 
withering  enemy  gunfire  and  grenades.  After  feigning  death  by  lying 
on  the  ground  under  a  pounding  of  concussion  grenades.  Chaplain  Tag- 
gart waited  until  the  enemy  fire  was  temporarily  subsided  then  withdrew 
into  the  building  where  for  six  hours  he  gave  comfort  and  administered 
first  aid  to  the  wounded."  ^^ 

During  the  Battle  of  the  Bulge  at  Bastogne,  roads  were  blocked  by 
winter  snows  so  that  chaplains  sometimes  waded  hip  deep  in  snow  to 
hold  services.^*^  Surrounded,  facing  an  uncertain  outcome,  Charles  V. 
McSweeney  recalled,  ".  .  .  as  we  stood  in  the  Huertgen  Forest  in  a 
blinding  storm  of  snow  I  heard  one  of  the  men  sing  out  'Let's  get  these 
men  out  of  the  hot  sun.'  "  "  Several  priests  reported  Mass  in  the  mud, 
and  asked  the  men  not  to  kneel  because  of  it,  but  they  did  anyway  out 
of  reverence. 

The  Weather  Prayer 

Weather  was  always  an  important  factor  in  war.  One  of  the  famous 
incidents  in  the  1944  Battle  of  the  Bulge  in  Europe  involved  General 
George  A.  Patton  and  a  prayer  about  the  weather.  Some  controversy  and 
confusion  grew  up  around  it  "Even  in  War  As  I  Knew  It  by  General  Pat- 
ton,  the  footnote  on  the  Prayer  by  Colonel  Paul  D.  Harkins,  Patton's 
Deputy  Chief  of  Staff  ...  is  not  the  true  account  of  the  prayer  incident 
or  its  sequence."  ^^  The  words  were  those  of  Chaplain  (Brigadier  Gen- 
eral) James  H.  O'Neill,  Deputy  Chief  of  Chaplains,  written  in  1950  to 
set  the  record  straight.  He  was  the  Third  Army  Chaplain  throughout  five 
campaigns  under  General  Patton.  "I  should  have  some  knowledge  of  the 
event  because  ...  I  composed  the  .  .  .  Prayer,  and  wrote  training  letter 
No.  5  ...  an  integral,  but  untold  part  of  the  prayer  story."  ^^ 

It  all  began  with  a  telephone  call  to  the  Third  Army  Chaplain  on  the 
morning  of  8  December  1944. 

"This  is  General  Patton;  do  you  have  a  good  prayer  for  weather?  We 
must  do  something  about  these  rains  if  we  are  to  win  the  war." 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


O'Neill  responded  that  he  would  have  such  a  prayer  within  the  hour. 
"The  few  prayer  books  at  hand  contained  no  formal  prayer  on  weather 
that  might  prove  acceptable  to  the  Army  Commander.  Keeping  his  im- 
mediate objective  in  mind,  I  typed  an  original  and  an  improved  copy  on 
a  5''  X  3'^  filing  card: 

Almighty  and  most  merciful  Father,  We  humbly  beseech  Thee,  of 
Thy  great  goodness,  to  restrain  these  immoderate  rains  with  which  we 
have  to  contend.  Grant  us  fair  weather  for  Battle.  Graciously  hearken  to 
us  soldiers  who  call  upon  Thee  that,  armed  with  Thy  power,  we  may  ad- 
vance from  victory  to  victory,  and  crush  the  oppression  and  wickedness 
of  our  enemies,  and  establish  Thy  justice  among  men  and  nations. 
Amend."  «" 

General  Patton  read  the  prayer  and  directed  that  250,000  copies  be 
printed  and  distributed  to  every  man  in  Third  Army.  He  also  had  quite 
an  interesting  conversation  with  his  chaplain  on  the  subject  of  prayer; 
Patton  then  directed  him  to  put  out  a  training  letter  to  his  chaplains — 
there  were  486  of  them,  representing  32  denominations — on  the  subject 
of  prayer.  "We've  got  to  get  not  only  the  chaplains  but  every  man  in  the 
Third  Army  to  pray.  We  must  ask  God  to  stop  these  rains.  These  rains 
are  the  margin  that  holds  defeat  or  victory,"  said  Patton. 

On  December  20,  to  the  consternation  of  the  Germans  and  the 
delight  of  the  American  forecasters  who  were  equally  surprised  at  the  turn 
about — the  rains  and  the  fog  ceased.  For  the  better  part  of  a  week  came 
bright  clear  skies  and  perfect  flying  weather — General  Patton  prayed  for 
fair  weather  for  battle.  He  got  it. 

"It  was  late  in  January  of  1945  when  I  saw  the  Army  Commander 
again.  This  was  in  the  city  of  Luxembourg.  He  stood  directly  in  front  of 
me  and  smiled :  'Well,  Padre,  our  prayers  worked.  I  knew  they  would.' 
Then  he  cracked  me  on  the  side  of  my  steel  helmet  with  his  riding  crop. 
That  was  his  way  of  saying  'Well  done !'  "  ^^ 

Meanwhile ...  In  The  Pacific 

The  ministry  of  chaplains  in  the  Pacific  was  essentially  the  same  as 
their  counterparts  in  Europe,  but  there  were  some  differences.  Frederick 
E.  Kirker  wrote,  "The  first  thing  of  importance  out  here  is  physical  fitness. 
This  is  a  prime  requisite  for  efficient  service.  One  needs  not  only  strength 
but  endurance.  This  type  of  warfare  brings  out  all  of  one's  hidden  de- 
fects." ""^  Climate  was  different.  Not  many  chaplains  in  the  American 
Army  spoke  Japanese ;  more  spoke  German.  Many  German  prisoners  of 
war  and  civilians  were  Catholic  or  Protestant ;  most  Japanese  were  non- 
Christians,  and  the  ministry  among  prisoners  of  war  was  therefore  quite 
different.  There  were  fewer  chaplains  in  the  Pacific  and  they  were  spread 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

158  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

over  greater  distances.  Because  of  island  hopping  tactics,  sustained  com- 
bat tended  to  be  of  shorter  duration.  After  the  initial  Japanese  victories  in 
the  Philippines,  chaplains  in  the  Pacific  theater  were  not  taken  prisoner ; 
however,  those  captured  were  prisoners  for  a  longer  period  of  time  and 
under  much  harsher  conditions  than  experienced  in  Europe.  Overall, 
however,  the  similarities  of  the  two  fronts  outweighed  the  differences  for 
the  ministry  of  most  chaplains. 

One  of  the  important  parts  of  ministering  to  soldiers  and  their  fami- 
lies was  correspondence.  A  family  wrote  in  reply  to  a  letter  from  one  chap- 
lain, a  rabbi,  "My  husband  and  I  want  to  thank  you  across  the  sea  .  .  .  we 
feel  most  contented  with  the  knowledge  that  you  are  there  keeping  good 
watch  over  him,  which  means  everything  in  the  world  to  us."  ®^  Harry 
Richmond  was  the  chaplain.  He  enlisted  in  World  War  I  as  a  private, 
and  became  a  first  lieutenant  chaplain;  he  came  back  on  duty  in  1940, 
and  for  months  was  the  only  Jewish  chaplain  in  Hawaii.  He  gathered 
soldiers  in  his  kitchen  where  his  wife,  Helena,  cooked  "latke"  (pancakes) 
for  homesick  soldiers.  He  celebrated  the  first  Passover  in  the  history  of 
Kauai  in  1942.*''  Another  parent  wrote  appreciatively  of  the  chaplain's 
letters,  "It  is  as  if  a  lasting  cruel  storm  is  uprooting  our  lives,  and  every 
expression  of  human  kindness  and  consideration  is  like  a  ray  of  sunshine 
and  a  little  hope  in  the  survival  of  the  kinder  and  finer  things  in  human 
life."  ^^  An  unusual  letter  went  to  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  from  a  sergeant 
in  the  Solomon  Islands,  who  pleaded  with  him  not  to  transfer  their  chap- 
lain. "He's  the  best  second  baseman  on  the  island."  ^'^ 

Vincent  A.  Cox  organized  and  directed  the  first  variety  show  ever 
held  for  the  troops  on  Ascension  Island.  He  called  it  "Rock  Happy," 
since  admission  could  be  gained  only  by  bringing  a  rock.  William  E. 
Capron  started  a  Daily  News,  which  included  news  of  the  world,  current 
events  on  Ascension,  and  a  history  of  the  place.  He  also  opened  a  library." 
Charles  H.  Dubra,  a  black  chaplain,  was  the  first  American  chaplain  to 
land  in  New  Guinea.  He  served  there  two  years  during  which  he  acted  as 
adviser  on  Negro  affairs,  supervised  coverage  of  Negro  troops,  and 
traveled  extensively  in  carrying  out  his  work.  On  2  June  1944  he  was 
awarded  the  Legion  of  Merit  in  recognition  for  this  outstanding  service. ^^ 
George  R.  Yancey  made  it  to  the  Tenth  Air  Force  after  only  three  months 
in  service.  "This  unprecedentedly  brief  military  background  was  accepted 
as  adequate  apparently  because  of  the  shortage  of  available  Negro 
chaplains."  ®® 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Chaplain  Tull,  at  Kunming,  reported  American  cigarettes  were 
almost  nonexistent,  even  at  the  exhorbitant  cost  of  $3.00  a  pack.  At 
Assam,  Chaplain  Zellner  reported  that  American  toilet  tissue  was  being 
hoarded  by  the  Quartermaster  while  American  personnel  were  using 
British  "sandpaper."  "A  Jap  shell  struck  the  warehouse  and  when  the 
smoke  cleared  away,  the  wreckage  and  trees  and  bushes  were  festooned 
with  garlands  of  American  toilet  tissue."  ^° 

Americans  had  to  look  at  their  maps  to  find  places  with  previously 
unheard  of  names.  Chaplain  William  C.  Taggart,  then  a  first  lieutenant, 
was  awarded  a  Silver  Star  for  gallantry  in  action  between  Djockjakarta 
and  Djilatjap,  Java,  on  27  February  1942.  "While  troops  were  being 
evacuated  from  Djockjakarta  .  .  .  Taggart  rendered  valuable  service  in 
keeping  together  a  seventy-five  vehicle  convoy  traveling  at  night  over 
unknown  roads  under  strick  blackout  conditions.  His  efforts  kept  the 
convoy  from  becoming  separated  or  lost  and  falling  into  enemy  hands.  A 
few  days  later,  while  enroute  to  Australia  from  Java,  Taggart  assisted  in 
driving  off  an  enemy  reconnaissance  plane  which  attempted  to  strafe  the 
ship.  Instead  of  taking  cover,  he  supplied  ammunition  to  the  men  operat- 
ing the  machine  guns."  After  the  incident  he  was  cited  for  helping  to  care 
for  sailors  wounded  in  the  Macassar  Straits  battle."^ 

Due  to  the  efforts  of  missionaries  there  were  native  Christians  in  the 
Pacific.  An  American  soldier  in  New  Georgia  sent  a  money  order  to  his 
pastor  in  the  amount  of  $100.00  with  the  instruction  that  it  be  used  for 
foreign  missions.  He  said,  "The  success  of  this  campaign  depended  upon 
the  co-operation  we  received  from  natives  .  .  .  who  a  few  years  ago  were 
savages.  ...  A  handful  of  missionaries  risked  their  lives  and  sacrified  the 
comforts  of  home  to  teach  these  natives  Christianity."  He  concluded 
that  he  owed  his  safety  to  them  and  looked  upon  the  money  order  not 
as  a  gift,  but  a  debt  of  gratitude.^"  A  downed  flyer  told  of  being  rescued  by 
fierce-looking  natives  who  led  him  along  ever  more  dark  and  dense  jungle 
paths  until  he  wondered  if  he  had  made  a  mistake  in  trusting  them.  He 
was  greatly  reassured  when  they  began  to  hum  "Onward  Christian 
Soldiers."  " 

Leon  W.  Hawley  told  of  the  beautiful  wedding  of  a  nurse  and  an 
officer  in  New  Guinea.  Female  soldiers  of  the  Women's  Army  Corps 
made  the  wedding  gown  from  a  parachute  and  the  chapel  was  beautifully 
decorated  with  orchids.'*  Malcolm  D.  Hooker  said,  "I  had  a  very  interest- 
ing experience  when  I  baptized  the  child  of  a  man  who  had  been  in  the 
underground  movement  in  the  Philippines ;  I  did  this  in  a  civilian  church 
in  which  that  day  I  preached  the  sermon.  The  choir  of  my  military  group 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

160  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-19« 

sang."  ^^  Harold  T.  Grabau  served  as  a  hospital  chaplain  in  India.  He 
got  military  personnel  involved  in  local  mission  projects,  both  Protestant 
and  Catholic,  to  assist  schools,  orphanages,  and  the  like,  "to  keep  alive 
the  spirit  of  Christian  love  and  concern."  ""^  Mert  M.  Lampson  got  a 
firsthand  look  at  missions.  "I  visited,  more  or  less  regularly,  with  such 
groups  in  Kunming  as  the  Lutheran  sisters  ( Missouri-Synod ) ,  Southern 
Presbyterians  and  Wesleyan  Methodists.  Once,  I  talked  to  a  deaf  and 
dumb  Chinese  children's  orphanage,  with  the  help  of  an  instructor  who 
used  sign  language."  He  also  made  a  900-mile  trip  from  Kunming  to 
Myitkyina,  through  the  Burmese  jungle,  to  visit  isolated  engineer  and 
signal  corps  troops.  Most  had  not  seen  a  chaplain  for  three  to  six  months. 
He  distributed  funds  to  16  Protestant  groups  in  Kunming,  including 
English  Pentecostal,  Church  of  England,  and  Wesleyan  Methodist. 
Lampson  himself  was  a  Methodist.''  As  Patrick  J.  Ryan  said,  "We  prac- 
ticed it  (ecumenism)  before  we  knew  the  word."  '" 

Chaplain  Edwin  L,  Kirtley  was  an  unusually  gifted  man  with  a 
talent  for  organization,  ability  to  coordinate  with  others,  and  a  knack 
for  meeting  the  needs  of  the  situation  which  extended  his  ministry  far 
beyond  "one  on  one"  relationships.  He  served  with  the  CCC  from  August 
1937  to  July  1940,  and  observed:  "For  me  this  was  an  excellent  training 
period  as  a  chaplain."  Later  Kirtley  organized  a  soldier  choir  and  chorus, 
which  presented  "The  Wizard  of  Ord,"  a  musical,  in  the  Hollywood  Bowl 
in  October  1941,  and  in  the  San  Francisco  Opera  House  in  November. 
He  coordinated  division-wide  services  in  the  Mojave  Desert  in  1942.  He 
played  football,  basketball,  track,  tennis,  bowling,  and  volley  ball  while  in 
service,  and  promoted  boxing  teams.  At  Fort  Ord,  he  organized  the  first 
major  scale  camp  show  for  the  armed  forces.  He  originally  arranged  the 
show  for  his  own  32nd  Infantry  Regiment,  but  Major  General  Joseph  W. 
Stillwell  showed  command  interest  and  support ;  he  opened  it  up  to  the 
7th  Motorized  Division  and  their  dependents,  so  that  30,000  persons 
attended.  Among  the  performers  were :  The  Ritz  Brothers,  Jack  Benny, 
Mary  Livingstone,  Rochester,  Marlene  Dietrich,  Claudette  Colbert. 
Carole  Landis,  Joan  Blondell,  Virginia  O'Brien,  George  Jessel,  George 
Bums  and  Gracie  Allen.  In  combat  in  the  Pacific  he  ministered  to  troops 
in  the  Battle  of  Attn  Island.  He  translated  the  Marshallese  Bible  into  a 
lexicon  in  English,  and  served  as  an  interpreter  for  Marshallese  in  the 
Kwajalein  operation.  Asked  what  assignment  he  liked  least  after  thirty 
years  in  service,  Kirtley  replied,  "I  liked  every  assignment  which  came  to 
me.  Each  in  its  time  and  place  was  best.  I  consider  each  assignment  a 
stepping  platform  to  a  higher  and  better  service  ...  I  simply  feel  that 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


they  all  fit  into  an  almost  complete  picture  of  the  fulfillment  of  one's 
ministry."  "^ 

Looking  back,  different  people  recalled  different  memories,  John 
M.  Brew  recalled  preaching  at  Mass  in  the  Pacific  while  mothers  con- 
tinually nursed  their  children.'"  Tom  K.  Gabrielsen  recalled  getting 
ready  for  the  invasion  of  Kiska;  with  casualties  projected  at  5,000,  he 
wrote  a  letter  to  his  family  to  be  mailed  "in  case  anything  happened  to 
me."  -'  The  Japanese  left  prior  to  the  landing  so  there  was  no  need  to 
mail  the  letter.  The  unit  was  then  sent  to  Kwajalein,  and  since  they  were 
to  be  on  a  transport  thirty-eight  days,  Gabrielsen  managed  to  get  "about 
one  ton  of  magazines  and  some  additional  books"  aboard  for  the  men  to 
read.  Einar  Jorgenson  "pasted  the  prayers  for  dying  Catholic  and  Jewish 
men"  in  the  flyleaf  of  his  chaplain's  field  service  book,  along  with  some 
pertinent  information  concerning  graves  registration.'" 

Elmer  W.  Heindl  demonstrated  that  lightning  could  strike  again 
and  again  for  the  same  person.  He  received  the  Bronze  Star  with  V 
device,  the  Silver  Star,  and  the  Distinguished  Service  Cross  between 
July  1944  and  July  1945.  All  of  these  awards  were  essentially  for  the 
same  kind  of  action,  but  with  varied  degrees  of  daring,  as  interpreted 
by  witnesses.  He  went  out  and  brought  in  the  wounded  under  sniper, 
machine  gun,  and  mortar  fire;  risked  his  life  to  climb  a  tower  to  give 
first  aid  to  the  wounded;  and  in  one  case,  was  forced  to  take  shelter  in 
an  open  grave  when  a  sniper  opened  up  on  a  burial  service  in  progress. 
His  calm  and  cheerful  presence  on  all  occasions  of  combat  "had  the  de- 
sired effect  upon  our  men,  and  helped  them  successfully  combat  the 
enemy  force."  ^^ 

Sometimes  chaplains  demonstrated  courage,  not  only  against  the 
enemy,  but  also  against  gruff,  rough  and  tough  commanders.  Kenneth 
W.  Fristoe  was  supposed  to  land  on  Morotai  Island,  in  the  Netherlands 
East  Indies,  with  the  last  wave  of  troops.  So  many  men  and  officers  were 
disappointed  that  he  would  not  be  with  the  first  wave  that  he  asked 
for  permission  to  join  it,  and  the  Chief  of  Staff  approved.  A  "Duck" 
(amphibious  vehicle)  took  him,  his  assistant,  and  their  equipment  to  the 
landing  craft  just  before  it  pulled  out.  "When  the  men  saw  the  chaplain 
was  arriving  a  rousing  cheer,  like  one  hears  at  a  football  game,  split  the 
air."  He  got  the  "urge"  to  hold  a  service  for  the  men  aboard,  and  learned 
that  he  would  have  to  get  permission  from  the  ship's  captain  who,  he 
was  warned,  was  "a  hard  old  salt." 

I  approached  the  captain's  cabin  with  a  bit  of  anxiety.  When  I 
knocked  he  invited  me  in  with  a  gruff  voice.  I  introduced  myself  and 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

162  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

told  him  what  I  wanted  to  do.  Without  answering  me  he  said,  "What 
did  you  say  your  name  is,  chaplain?"  I  repeated  my  name.  He  asked, 
"Do  you  know  Bill  Fristoe  in  Santa  Cruz,  California,  by  any  chance?" 
I  replied,  "I  surely  do.  Bill  Fristoe  is  my  father  and  Santa  Cruz  is  my 

It  turned  out  that  the  captain  owned  race  horses  in  Santa  Cruz, 
and  bought  feed  for  years  at  the  store  where  Chaplain  Fristoe's  father  was 
manager.  They  talked  for  some  time  and  the  captain  again  asked  what  it 
was  he  wanted  to  do.  The  request  was  repeated  and  the  captain  replied, 
"The  ship  is  yours,  chappy.  When  do  you  want  the  PA  system  turned  on?" 
At  daybreak  Fristoe  conducted  a  service.  A  sergeant  with  a  beautiful  bar- 
itone voice  sang  '*The  Old  Rugged  Cross."  The  chaplain  read  eleven 
verses  of  Psalm  91,  and  offered  prayer  extemporaneously.  When  he  said, 
"Amen"  and  opened  his  eyes,  he  saw  that  nearly  every  helmet  had  been 
removed.  In  a  few  minutes  the  landing  craft  moved  out  and  the  attack 
was  under  way.  Not  one  man  from  this  ship  was  lost.^* 

Not  everyone  in  the  Pacific  was  in  jungle  heat;  Alaska  and  the 
Aleutians,  for  instance,  were  cold.  Chaplain  Joseph  Ware,  a  Christian 
Scientist,  had  a  unique  assignment.  He  was  to  find  and  serve  the  men  of 
his  denomination  wherever  they  were  in  Alaska,  and  to  conduct  as  many 
general  Protestant  services  as  time  and  circumstances  permitted.  He  was 
invited  to  conduct  a  Christmas  Day  service  at  a  communication  system 
transmitting  station  high  up  on  a  mountain  near  Kiska.  A  lieutentant  in 
a  caterpillar  tractor  picked  him  up  and  they  rode  together  through  a 
terrific  blizzard.  "The  outpost  was  completely  buried  in  snow.  Not  a 
hut  could  been  seen.  We  slid  down  a  tunnel  into  the  Quonset  hut  which 
served  as  mess  and  recreation  hall."  There,  shut  away  from  the  storm, 
Christmas  was  celebrated.  ■"'  Similarly,  Chaplain  Kenson  Kennedy  was 
given  unlimited  freedom  to  travel  at  large  throughout  the  China- 
Burma-India  theater.  William  F.  Mullaly,  "sensitive  to  all  sorts  of 
needs,"  in  his  first  report  mentioned  a  social  gathering  he  arranged  for 
unmarried  officers  in  Karachi.^® 

Albert  A.  Gordon  arranged  for  Passover  in  New  Guinea  in  a  well 
attended  session  with  ecumenical,  interracial  overtones.  He  planned  a 
Seder  celebration  for  a  maximum  attendance  of  600  but  one  thousand 
came.  It  was  held  in  the  hospital  mess.  They  used  mimeographed 
Haggadahs,  (the  printed  ones  came  the  day  after  the  service) ;  he  got 
Jewish  cooks  and  former  caterers  to  help ;  a  Chinese  friend  baked ;  fresh 
vegetables  were  obtained  by  an  Australian  army  captain  Michael  Perl, 
from  some  "Fuzzy  Wuzzy"  natives  from  New  Guinea.'' 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Bertram  L.  Smith  served  with  what  were  then  designated  colored 
units.  He  reported  that  in  many  outfits  there  were  men  called  to  preach. 

I  attended  one  of  the  evening  services  of  a  ten-day  revival.  The  men 
came  to  it  after  finishing  their  duties.  A  mess  hall  was  set  up  by  the  chapel. 
Three  preachers  had  a  part  in  the  service.  The  preaching  was  fervent  and 
good,  the  singing  was  excellent,  the  devotional  element  was  real  and  deep. 
Surely  good  only  would  result  from  such  a  service.®^ 

That  was  not  an  isolated  experience.  Men  often  ministered  to  other 
men  in  the  absence  of  a  chaplain,  or  as  an  extension  of  the  ministry  of 
the  chaplain.  Many  chaplains  reported  knowledge  of  a  number  of  young 
men  who  were  called  to  the  ministry  as  a  result  of  their  army  experiences. 
In  some  cases  these  men  were  closer  to  their  fellow  soldiers  than  the  chap- 
lain. Paul  D.  Moody  reported  the  experience  of  a  friend  who  was  sobered 
and  enlightened  when,  speaking  to  a  group  of  soldiers,  he  sought  their 
ideas  as  to  the  cardinal  sins.  He  thought  they  would  say  gambling,  drink- 
ing, impurity,  and  swearing.  He  was  surprised  when  they  laughed  and 
answered:  cowardice,  selfishness,  laziness,  and  carelessness.  Sins  of  the 
flesh  did  not  shock  them  as  much  as  sins  of  the  spirit.®^ 

Ario  S.  Hyams  came  to  the  Philippines  in  July  1944  after  six  months 
in  combat  in  Holland,  Belgium,  France  and  Germany.  His  was  the  dis- 
tinction of  being  the  only  Jewish  chaplain  to  serve  during  combat  opera- 
tions in  both  Europe  and  the  Pacific  in  World  War  H.^" 

J.  M.  Bradbury,  a  Southern  Baptist,  normally  used  grape  juice  in 
Communion  services.  In  Assam  on  one  occasion  it  was  necessary  to  use 
real  wine.  "The  look  on  their  faces  was  one  of  astonishment,  when  that 
hot  wine  hit  their  lips."  " 

Deeds  of  valor,  unusual  ingenuity  and  flexibility  in  accomplishing 
the  mission,  tenacity,  warmth  toward,  and  love  of  their  men,  character- 
ized the  combat  ministry  of  the  chaplains  in  World  War  II.  Fleet  Admiral 
Chester  M.  Nimitz  gave  an  evaluation  and  perspective  on  that  ministry 
when  he  wrote : 

My  own  esteem  for  the  chaplains  is  not  so  much  based  upon  deeds  of 
valor  as  it  is  of  appreciation  for  their  routine  accomplishments.  No  one 
will  ever  know  how  many  young  men  were  diverted  from  acts  of  depres- 
sion by  a  heart-to-heart  talk  with  the  'padre'.  ...  By  his  patient,  sympa- 
thetic labors  with  men,  day  in  day  out,  and  through  many  a  night,  every 
chaplain  I  know  contributed  immeasurably  to  the  moral  courage  of  our 
fighting  men.  None  of  that  appears  in  statistics  ...  It  is  for  that  toil  in  the 
cause  of  God  and  country  that  I  honor  the  chaplains  most.®" 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

164  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

"They  Also  Serve..." 

Not  all  of  the  military  ministry  in  this  period  was  in  a  combat  setting, 
nor  were  all  the  stories  tales  of  daring.  Chaplain  Dier  told  of  a  lad  who 
wrote  home  to  his  mother  "that  he  was  where  the  bombs  were  the  thick- 
est," which  was  true — in  a  way.  The  soldier's  job  was  on  the  docks,  un- 
loading them.''  Charles  D.  Rice  conducted  services  for  the  744th  Railway 
Operating  Battalion.  One  evening  while  the  service  was  in  progress  at 
Montabrand,  France,  one  of  the  operators  thought  that  it  would  be  a 
good  idea  to  broadcast  the  service  up  and  down  the  line  for  the  benefit 
of  the  other  stations.  "All  went  well  until  someone  up  the  line  decided  to 
plug  the  Dispatcher  in  on  the  service.  Now  anyone  who  has  ever  worked 
around  a  railroad  office  knows  how  much  a  Dispatcher,  any  Dispatcher, 
would  appreciate  having  his  official  line  obstructed  in  any  way."  There 
was  general  agreement,  following  the  language  used,  that  the  Dispatcher 
should  have  taken  time  out  to  go  to  church  somewhere.  That  ended  the 

In  Northern  Ireland  chaplains  of  the  5th  Infantry  were  in  charge  of 
twelve  Christmas  parties  held  for  children  6  to  12  years  of  age.  3,000 
attended;  they  included  refugees  from  bombed  areas,  children  whose 
fathers  were  in  service,  and  others.  Soldiers  entertained;  movies  were 
shown,  cookies,  doughnuts,  candy,  and  a  chocolate  drink  were  served; 
toys  made  by  the  troops,  along  with  other  gifts,  were  distributed ;  Carols 
were  sung.  Various  chaplains  attended  civilian  clergy  meetings.  Clarence 
Ford  represented  the  Army  at  the  Episcopal  Consecration  of  the  Most 
Reverend  Eugene  O.  O 'Dougherty  as  the  new  Bishop  of  Dromore.  Clar- 
ence F.  Golish  addressed  the  Methodist  conference  of  pastors  and  lay 
representatives  from  all  the  churches  in  Ireland.'^ 

A  Presidential  Committee  reviewed  religion  in  the  service  during 
World  War  II  and  said  that  the  duties  of  chaplains  included:  pastor,  or- 
ganizer, counselor,  missionary,  military  officer,  and  ambassador."'  It  was 
the  latter  that  was  significant  in  many  areas.  One  priest  said  that  some 
people  were  pessimistic  about  the  religious  life  of  soldiers  overseas.  De- 
spite the  fact  that  facilities  for  Mass  and  the  sacraments  were  scarcely 
ideal.  Catholic  chaplains  at  the  front  were  "few  and  far-between"  yet, 
Gerald  Rabe  wrote,  "English,  French,  and  Belgian  priests  unanimously 
rave,  'What  good  Catholics  the  Yanks  are!'  For  my  part  I  feel  that  I 
have  the  Army  to  thank  for  a  deep  and  abiding  faith  in  American  Youth 
which  has  been  challenged  as  never  before."  ''  Walter  Daib  told  about  a 
service  in  Germany  where  there  were  160  civilians,  and  105  soldiers  pres- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


ent.  The  soldiers  were  delighted  to  hear  the  German  Christmas  hymns, 
and  a  special  trio  that  sang.  One  German  civilian  told  Daib  the  next  day, 
"If  those  citizens,  who  left  town  with  the  Germans  because  they  believed 
the  German  propaganda  that  the  American  soldiers  were  barbarians, 
could  only  have  looked  in  on  the  service."  ^^  Chaplain  Lawrence  Hertzog, 
from  Oklahoma,  was  commended  for  serving  temporarily  as  graves  reg- 
istration officer.  When  he  found  the  officer  in  charge  of  that  section  se- 
verely wounded  he  took  over  the  leadership  to  get  the  men  moving  in  this 
necessary  work.^^ 

Training  continued  throughout  the  war,  even  though  the  experience 
of  some  included  less  than  ideal  conditions.  John  R.  Himes  remembered 
parachute  training  in  the  101st  Airborne  Division  in  Mourmelon-le-Petit, 
France,  a  quickie  course  for  men  already  in  combat  with  the  division.  It 
consisted  of  "8  days  of  P.T.,  take  you  up  and  push  you  out  five  times, 
you're  qualified."  ""  Lyman  C.  Berrett  walked  30  miles  with  his  unit  at 
Camp  Polk,  Louisiana,  in  twelve  hours;  he  gave  the  credit  to  an  Irish  drill 
sergeant  at  Harvard  who  lectured  the  chaplain  students  on  obedience, 
promptly  marched  them  into  the  Charles  River  in  water  up  to  their  arm- 
pits, left  them  standing  for  five  minutes,  then  gave  them  about  face  and 
marched  them  out.  He  marched  them  until  their  new  shoes  dried;  to  their 
amazement,  the  shoes  fit  like  gloves. ^'^^  When  Masao  Yamada  was  in  train- 
ing for  combat  duty  at  Camp  Shelby,  Mississippi,  the  newspapers  picked 
up  his  story  because  he  was  the  first  Hawaii  chaplain  of  Japanese  ances- 
try to  enter  the  armed  forces.  A  Congregationalist,  36  years  old,  Yamada 
said,  "God  and  guns  will  win  the  war  for  the  United  Nations."  His  earlier 
studies  took  him  to  Tokyo  for  seven  years  where  he  had  a  ringside  seat 
during  "the  militarists'  attempt  to  assassinate  Emperor  Hirohito  and  set 
up  a  strictly  military  government."  ^°^  A  climate  of  suspicions  surrounded 
Japanese-Americans,  and  their  loyalty  was  questioned  after  the  Pearl 
Harbor  sneak  attack ;  however,  units  of  Japanese-Americans  distinguished 
themselves  in  combat  in  Europe. 

When  a  bomber  crashed  in  flames  in  England,  setting  a  fire  to  a  two 
story  brick  barracks,  Chaplain  William  J.  Zink,  a  citation  read,  "with 
complete  disregard  for  his  own  personal  safety  rushed  into  the  building 
to  search  for  trapped  men.  He  was  eventually  forced  to  leave  because  of 
the  dense  smoke  and  fumes  from  the  fire.  Although  his  hands  were  burned 
he  re-entered  the  building  .  .  .  with  a  gas  mask  and  helmet  in  an  attempt 
to  reach  a  trapped  man  that  he  had  located."  He  gave  last  rites  to  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  12 

166  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

men  who  were  killed  in  the  crash  and  assisted  medical  personnel  in  ex- 
tricating bodies  from  the  wreckage  of  the  bomber.^"' 

The  Ministry  To  Prisoners  Of  War 

The  Chaplains  who  worked  with  German,  Italian,  and  Japanese 
prisoners  of  war  discovered  how  deeply  implanted  was  the  ideology  of 
their  respective  governments.  As  prisoners  discovered  the  real  nature  of 
the  enemy  and  the  truth  about  how  the  war  progressed,  they  became 
victims  of  a  belief  vacuum.  The  chaplains  tried  to  lead  them  to  religious 
faith.  Several  chaplains  reported  that  wounded  prisoners  thought  they 
would  be  killed,  and  learned  through  acts  of  kindness  by  chaplains  that 
the  captors  could  be  trusted.  Orlando  V,  Hayne  told  of  a  Nazi  pilot  who 
thought  the  medics  were  trying  to  poison  him  when  they  gave  him 
plasma;  Hayne  was  able  to  calm  him  down."*  Albert  J.  Hoffman  spoke 
German  and  was  assigned  the  task  of  questioning  prisoners  in  Tunisia. 
He  felt  his  presence  would  insure  proper  treatment  of  the  men.  On  the 
Italian  front  he  saw  a  party  of  civilians  come  to  kill  a  wounded  German 
with  their  knives;  Hoffman  threw  them  out  and  set  a  guard. '°^  Anton 
Egger,  a  German  clergyman,  was  a  prisoner  of  the  Americans  at  Camp 
Maxey.  When  he  returned  to  Innsbruck  after  the  war  he  wrote  a  letter 
thanking  the  chaplains  for  their  kindness.  When  he  came  in  contact 
"with  many  who  had  to  undergo  the  same  misfortune  of  capture,  but  in 
other  hands  and  at  other  places — I  really  learned  to  appreciate  how 
fortunate  I  was."  "" 

Albert  R.  H.  Miller  saw  "Hitler's  Supermen"  as  ragged  men  and 
boys  boarding  a  transport  ship  as  prisoners.  He  reported  mixed  feelings : 
"It  was  a  feeling  of  antagonism  because  of  what  they  represented,  of  pity 
because  they  had  been  wounded  and  were  prisoners  of  war,  away  from 
home  and  loved  ones,  even  as  we."  He  saw  them  as  proper  subjects  of 
evangelism.  Miller  felt  that  while  they  were  prisoners  they  would  be 
shown  the  advantage  of  democracy  over  dictatorship ;  of  forgiveness  over 
revenge.  "The  impressions  they  get  of  us  while  here  will  do  more  to 
educate  them  in  the  democratic  way  of  life  than  a  year's  lectures  on  the 
meaning  of  democracy."  He  reported  85%  of  the  prisoners  attended 
service,  the  others  being  too  sick."'  John  W.  Handy,  Jr.  reported  minister- 
ing to  POW's  with  the  help  of  prisoner  ministers."®  Hiro  Higuchi  had  an 
interesting  and  perhaps  unique  experience.  10,000  Japanese  prisoners 
"came  to  service,  not  because  of  my  message,  but  just  to  observe  a 
Japanese-American  chaplain  preach  in  English,  and  a  Caucasian  minister 
interpret  the  sermon  in  Japanese."  "^  John  O.  Fisher  reported  that  his 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Jewish  assistant  was  of  great  value  in  working  with  German  prisoners  at 
the  hospital.  He  was  "fluent  in  Yiddish,  which  they  took  to  be  lousy 
German.  But  they  understood  it."  ^'°  Arthur  J.  Doege,  a  Missouri  Synod 
Lutheran,  wrote,  "With  hard  work  I  had  excellent  attendance,  instruc- 
tions every  night  and  nearly  1,800  baptisms.  I  had  the  confidence  of  men 
confined  and  was  used  by  the  CO  to  quell  riots."  He  worked  with  German 
POW's  at  Camp  Edwards  from  1943  to  1945."' 

The  Execution  Of  A  Private 

An  event  which  went  by  almost  unnoticed  at  the  time  was  the 
execution  of  Private  Eddie  D.  Slovik,  ASN  39896415.  Records  of  the 
Seventh  Army  Chaplain  section  showed  that  Slovik  "was  shot  to  death 
by  musketry  because  of  conviction  by  Courts-Martial  for  desertion  to 
avoid  hazardous  duty."  Carl  P.  Cummings,  a  Catholic  chaplain,  was 
assigned  to  look  after  the  spiritual  needs  of  the  prisoner  and  the  official 
report  concluded:  "The  condemned  man's  composure  at  his  execution 
gave  evidence  of  the  thorough  preparation  given  him  by  Chaplain 
Cummings."  "" 

Edward  L.  R.  Elson,  ranking  chaplain  of  XXIst  Corps,  was  sent 
by  Lieutenant  General  Frank  W.  Milburn,  "to  attend  as  my  representative 
and  give  me  a  full  report."  "^  Chaplains  Ralph  E.  Smith  and  Lloyd 
E.  Langford  were  also  witnesses. 

Elson  wrote  thirty  years  later  that  it  was  the  assignment  he  liked 
least  in  his  military  career."'  As  a  priest,  Cummings  did  not  feel 
responsible  to  challenge  the  legality  of  the  sentence,  but  saw  his  duty 
and  responsibility  to  prepare  a  communicant  for  death.  Slovik  also  felt 
this  was  the  proper  relationship  between  himself  and  Cummings,  and 
remarked  that  he  was  more  fortunate  than  the  men  in  the  line,  because 
he  knew  when  he  was  to  die  and  had  time  to  make  his  peace  \vith  God. 
He  attended  confession  and  a  private  mass.  On  the  day  of  the  execution 
he  appeared  to  observers  to  be  the  bravest  man  on  the  field.  Cummings 
said  later  that  for  two  thousand  years  the  Catholic  church  had  been 
supplying  what  Eddie  Slovik  needed  on  the  day  of  his  death.  "From 
where  else  can  a  little  man  find  strength?"  "^ 

The  Last  Mass  Execution  In  The  US 

Even  less  publicized  at  the  time  than  the  Slovik  case  was  the  last 
mass  execution  in  the  United  States,  carried  out  at  the  United  States 
Disciplinary  Barracks  at  Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas,  on  25  August  1945. 
Werner  Drechsler,  a  young  German  sailor  from  a  submarine,  cooperated 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

168  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

with  his  American  captors  by  providing  mihtary  information  when 
questioned.  The  other  German  prisoners  found  out  about  it  but  were 
moved  to  a  different  camp.  Later  Drechsler  was  sent  to  this  camp  to 
rejoin  his  fellow  ship-mates.  The  other  prisoners  could  not  believe  the 
Americans  capable  of  such  stupidity,  and  interpreted  this  as  permission 
to  take  revenge  on  Drechsler,  who  in  their  view  was  clearly  a  traitor. 
They  rushed  him  one  night  in  his  bunk,  carried  him  to  the  shower  room 
where  they  hanged  him  after  a  quick  kangaroo  court  had  "convicted" 
him.  Seven  prisoners  were  sentenced  to  hang  for  the  murder  of  Drechsler 
and  sent  to  Leavenworth. 

Chaplain  John  Sagar  and  Chaplain  George  Towle  became  well 
acquainted  with  the  condemned  men.  The  execution  of  the  sentence 
was  delayed  as  plans  to  exchange  them  for  American  prisoners  of  war 
bogged  down.  Towle  spoke  excellent  German,  worked  extensively  with 
the  prisoners  and  knew  them  better  than  anyone  else.  Richard 
Whittingham  wrote  of  the  ministry  of  Towle,  a  priest,  "It  was  a  meeting 
with  someone  who  did  not  represent  war  or  violence  or  punishment, 
someone  who  wanted  to  talk  about  .  .  .  home  and  families,  their  feeling 
and  ideas  ..."  The  men  sensed  that  this  was  their  first  contact  in  several 
years  with  a  milder,  more  civilized  world.  Besides  bringing  a 
humanitarian  concern  for  their  well  being,  Towle  ministered  to  their 
spiritual  needs  and  helped  them  face  the  facts  of  their  impending  deaths. 
On  the  day  of  their  executions  several  of  the  prisoners  publically  thanked 
the  authorities  for  the  presence  and  ministry  of  Chaplain  George  Towle. ^^"^ 

Bibles  In  World  War  II 

Bibles  and  Scripture  portions  played  a  large  part  in  the  ministry  of 
chaplains,  and  many  stories  about  Bibles  form  a  part  of  the  legend  of 
World  War  II.  A  number  of  stories  persisted  about  men  whose  lives  were 
saved  when  a  bullet  struck  their  Bible  and  was  embedded  in  its  pages.  An 
Army  lieutenant  wrote  his  sister  in  Pennsylvania  about  such  an  incident. 
"As  I  reached  for  my  carbine,  a  shot  struck  me  in  the  breast  and  blasted 
me  down.  Thinking  I  was  dead,  my  pal  .  .  .  was  amazed  when  I  rolled 
over  and  tried  to  get  up  ...  I  pulled  that  little  Bible  out  of  my  pocket 
and  ...  I  looked  at  the  ugly  hole  in  its  cover."  It  had  ripped  from  Genesis 
to  Psalm  91. 

"A  thousand  shall  fall  at  thy  side,  and  ten  thousand  at  thy  right 
hand ;  but  it  shall  not  come  nigh  thee." 

It  was  signed  "Your  loving  brother,  George,"  and  appeared  on  the 
bulletin   board    at    Patterson    Field,    Dayton,    Ohio,    in    a    California 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


newspaper,  and  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain.^^'  The  story,  or  similar 
ones,  gained  wide  circulation  and  a  Bible  with  stainless  steel  covers 
became  popular. 

Roger  P.  Melton  found  that  reading  the  Bible,  rather  than  carrying 
it,  could  have  a  good  outcome.  He  was  wounded  in  the  throat  by  shrapnel. 
The  metal  fragment  was  so  lodged  that  doctors  feared  to  operate  because 
of  permanent  damage  to  his  voice.  For  a  time  he  was  unable  to  speak 
above  a  whisper.  One  Sunday  afternoon  sitting  on  his  bed  reading  the 
Bible,  the  chaplain  was  seized  with  a  fit  of  coughing.  The  fragment  was 
spit  out,  and  his  voice  returned.  His  only  complaint  was  difficulty  in 
reaching  high  notes  while  singing. ^^^ 

A  famous  Bible  story  of  World  War  H  involved  Captain  Eddie 
Rickenbacker,  a  former  race  car  driver.  World  War  I  flying  ace,  and 
later  an  airline  executive.  His  aircraft  went  down  in  the  Pacific,  and 
Rickenbacker  and  his  crew  were  adrift  on  life  rafts  for  21  days.  Johnny 
Bartek,  a  crew  member,  had  a  New  Testament,  and  watching  him  read  it 
inspired  all  the  men  to  become  more  familiar  with  the  Scriptures.  They 
held  morning  and  evening  prayers  and  passed  the  Book  around,  and  each 
in  turn  found  a  meaningful  passage  to  read  aloud.  The  story  is  a 
fascinating  one;  a  seagull  landed  on  the  head  of  one  man  in  answer  to 
their  prayers  for  food  and  was  quickly  eaten;  when  they  had  no  fresh 
water,  rain  came  from  heaven  *'against  the  wind"  and  quenched  their 
thirst.  One  passage  they  read  daily:  "Therefore  take  no  thought  saying. 
What  shall  we  eat?  or,  What  shall  we  drink?  or.  Wherewithal  shall  we  be 
clothed?  .  .  .  But  seek  ye  first  the  kingdom  of  God  and  His 
righteousness,  and  all  these  things  shall  be  added  unto  you  .  .  .  .  "  (Mat. 

The  story  was  given  much  publicity,  and  Bartek  donated  his 
Testament  to  the  American  Bible  Society.  This  led  to  the  development 
by  that  organization  of  "The  Life  Raft  Packet."  The  Gospel  of  St. 
Matthew  in  the  King  James  Version  for  Protestants ;  the  same  Gospel  in 
the  Douay  Version  for  Catholics;  and  the  Psalms  (Courtesy  of  the  Jewish 
Publishing  Society)  for  Jews,  were  sealed  in  waterproof  containers  and, 
through  the  War  Shipping  Administration,  placed  on  every  life  raft  and 
fife  boat  of  every  merchant  vessel.  145,000  of  these  packets  were 
produced.  An  additional  40,000  New  Testaments  (complete)  were 
placed  in  waterproof  containers  aboard  aircraft  and  in  survival  gear.  The 
American  Bible  Society  felt  these  projects  summed  up  the  society's  basic 
purpose  which,  "seeks  to  supply  the  Scriptures  effectively  to  persons  who 
otherwise  might  not  have  them."^"° 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

170  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

The  biggest  Bible  story  in  terms  of  numbers  and  influence  came  as  a 
result  of  a  letter  from  a  woman  in  Iowa  to  the  President  of  the  United 
States,  ten  days  after  the  Selective  Service  Act  became  effective: 

Ayrshire,  Iowa 
October  26, 1940 
President  Roosevelt: 

I  was  recently  reading  how  that  King  George  of  England  gives 
a  New  Testament  to  every  man  who  dons  the  uniform,  with  a 
testimony  of  his  faith  written  in  each  one.  Now  I  truly  believe  God 
will  honor  such  faith  and  I  believe  that  England  as  long  as  she  honors 
God  thus,  will  never  be  conquered. 

I  think  it  would  be  timely  if  our  president  would  do  likewise 
and  place  a  Testament  in  the  hands  of  conscripted  men.  Perhaps 
many  would  give  their  lives  to  Christ  and  the  prayers  of  faith  would 
save  our  country  from  war.  It  would  be  a  God  honoring  thing  to  do 
and  all  Christians  would  support  you  100%  and  you  would  reap 
eternal  reward.  I'm  a  great  believer  in  prayer  and  in  God  and  hope 
you  are  too. 

Sincerely  in  Him 
Mrs.  Evelyn  Kohlstedt 
Ayrshire,  Iowa 

Such  are  the  ways  of  the  American  system  of  government  that  this 
simple  letter  set  in  motion  a  chain  of  events  that  led  to  the  government 
printing  of  eleven  million  Testaments  for  men  in  the  armed  forces.  Every 
serviceman  was  furnished  with  a  Testament  if  he  desired  it.^"^  The 
Protestant  New  Testament  was  the  King  James  Version,  the  Catholic  was 
the  Stedman  arrangement  of  the  New  Testament,  and  the  Jewish 
Testament  was  a  collection  of  readings  selected  by  the  Committee  of 
Religious  Activities  of  the  Jewish  Welfare  Board  from  a  Scripture  version 
of  the  Jewish  Publication  Society  of  America. 

On  the  flyleaf  of  each  Testament  was  this  foreward  from  the 
President : 

The  White  House 
March  6,   1941 

To  the  Members  of  the  Army : 

As  Commander-in-Chief  I  take  pleasure  in  commending  the 
reading  of  the  Bible  to  all  who  serve  in  the  armed  forces  of  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


United  States.  Throughout  the  centuries  men  of  many  faiths  and 
diverse  origins  have  found  in  the  Sacred  Book  words  of  wisdom, 
counsel,  and  inspiration.  It  is  a  fountain  of  strength  and  now  as 
always,  an  aid  in  attaining  the  highest  aspirations  of  the  human 


Very  Sincerely  Yours 
Franklin  D.  Roosevelt 

The  postscript  in  each  Army  Testament  had  a  message  from  the 

Chief  of  Chaplains: 

Do  you  know  your  chaplain?  This  copy  of  the  Scriptures 
should  initiate  and  promote  a  warm  friendship  between  you  and 
your  chaplain.  He  has  studied  the  Word  of  God  for  years  and  uses 
it  daily  for  his  own  strength  and  comfort,  and  for  the  instruction 
of  others.  His  love  for  the  Scriptures  makes  him  your  friend  and 
guide.  When  he  counsels  you  he  speaks  with  knowledge  and  char- 
ity found  in  this  little  volume.  A  soldier  who  knows  the  Word  of 
God  and  honestly  tries  to  observe  His  laws  is  a  man  of  power  and 
influence  among  his  fellows  and  exalts  his  military  service  to  the 
high  level  of  religious  faith,  courage  and  loyalty. 

William  R.  Arnold 
Chief  of  Chaplains 

The  American  Bible  Society,  the  Gideons,  and  the  Pocket  Testa- 
ment League  were  the  leading  civilian  organizations  that  distributed 
Scriptures.  The  American  Bible  Society  gave  Bibles  and  Scripture  por- 
tions to  prisoners  of  war  and  internees  in  the  United  States,  supplied 
pulpit  Bibles  to  Army  Chapels,  gave  briefings  and  materials  to  the  chap- 
plain  students  at  Harvard,  and  sent  thousands  of  Testaments  to  Ameri- 
cans who  were  prisoners  of  the  Germans  and  Japanese.  3,036  Bibles 
went  to  Chaplain  Leigh  Wright  aboard  the  Queen  Mary,  for  distribu- 
tion to  British  War  Brides.  So  close  was  the  relationship  of  this  organiza- 
tion to  the  chaplains  that  when  rationing  of  paper  was  instituted  by  the 
War  Production  Board,  additional  paper  was  secured  from  the  allot- 
ment allowed  to  the  Chiefs  of  Chaplains  of  the  Army  and  Navy.  Paper 
was  a  problem  since  the  American  Bible  Society  printed  New  Testa- 
ments at  the  rate  of  9,000  a  day  by  November  1942.  The  Gideon 
Society  supplied  aroundt  25,000  a  month.  In  8/2  years  of  the  War 
Emergency  Fund  the  American  Bible  Society  supplied  2,909,355  Bibles, 
Testaments,  and  portions  to  POWs  alone,  at  a  cost  of  $317,979.65.  In 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

172  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

1945   they  distributed  2,749,074  Bibles,  Testaments  and  portions  to 
American  armed  forces  personnel.'" 

Other  Literature 

Devotional  guides  were  popular  during  the  war  years.  Alvin  R. 
Nygaard's  Service  for  God  and  Country  was  widely  distributed.  Alva  J. 
Brasted's  Service  to  Servicemen  brought  a  comment  from  Chaplain 
Arnold  that  it  was  "worth  its  weight  in  gold."  The  Prayer  Book  for 
Eastern  Orthodox  Christians  was  published  by  the  YMCA.  The  Upper 
Room  was  popular  in  a  pocket  edition  and  a  quarter  of  a  million  copies 
went  to  servicemen  in  1943.  The  Christian  Science  Monitor  appeared 
on  chapel  reading  racks.  Reveille,  a  small  paper  slanted  to  servicemen, 
was  inspirational  and  humorous.  Our  Sunday  Visitor,  Link,  and  many 
other  denominational  magazines  and  devotional  guides  were  distributed 
by  chaplains.  Guidance  from  the  Chief's  office  recommended  careful 
monitoring  of  all  literature,  pamphlets  and  tracts  to  make  sure  that 
controversial  material  that  attacked  the  faith  of  others  was  excluded. 
Dr.  Marion  Creeger  of  the  YMCA-USO  was  visiting  on  the  West  Coast 
when  he  saw  a  woman  distributing  small  copies  of  Sallman's  "Head  of 
Christ."  He  remembered  an  anonymous  statement  of  Christ's  life  en- 
titled "One  Solitary  Life,"  and  a  card  was  produced  with  the  picture  on 
one  side  and  the  text  on  the  other.  It  became  one  of  the  most  popular 
items  and  two  and  one-half  million  copies  were  distributed  through 
chaplains  and  others.'"^ 

The  Hymnal,  Army  and  Navy,  and  The  Song  and  Service  Book, 
Army  and  Navy  for  Field  and  Ship  replaced  the  earher  hymnal  that  was 
in  use  for  20  years.  Ivan  L.  Bennet  was  chosen  by  the  Chief  to  head  the 
project.  1,675  chaplains,  clergymen  and  musicians  were  polled  as  to 
which  hymns  were  the  most  popular.  The  hymns  with  the  most  votes 
were  included.  The  Song  and  Service  Book  was  intended  for  use  in  the 
field  and  each  chaplain  received  150  copies.  By  the  end  of  the  war 
10,000,000  copies  were  printed.  Hymns  From  Home,  a  leaflet  which 
contained  the  words  of  13  most-used  hymns,  was  given  to  chaplains  for 
use  overseas.  Each  package  of  5  leaflets  contained  one  pamphlet  with 
the  music.  Twelve  packages  were  distributed  to  each  overseas  chaplain. 
One  million  copies  were  inserted  in  emergency  ration  cartons  by  the 
Quartermaster.  The  initial  printing  of  3  million  copies  in  1943  was  soon 
exhausted  and  another  printing  of  2  million  followed."' 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Distinguished  Visitors 

American  civilian  clergy  and  public  were  concerned  with  the  spir- 
itual welfare  of  the  citizen  soldier.  The  desire  of  many  prominent  clergy- 
men was  to  go  and  see  for  themselves  how  "our  boys"  were  getting  along. 
To  give  some  order  and  control  to  this  program  of  visitation,  General 
Marshall  made  it  clear  that  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  would  be  in  charge 
of  clearing  visitors.  He  approved  visits  by  a  limited  number  of  civilian 
clergymen  selected  by  the  General  Commission  on  Chaplains,  The  Mili- 
tary Ordinate,  and  the  Jewish  Welfare  Board.' ""  Accordingly,  some 
prominent  clergy  were  invited  by  the  President  to  tour  the  theaters  of 
war  and  bring  him  a  report. 

Action  This  Day  chronicled  the  100,000  miles  traveled  by  Arch- 
bishop Spellman  in  his  visits  to  chaplains  and  troops.  The  book  began  as 
letters  to  his  father,  but  later  was  published  as  a  report  to  the  people  on 
how  their  sons,  fathers,  brothers,  and  sisters  were  doing.  He  left  on 
9  February  1943,  after  reporting  to  the  President  that  he  was  vaccinated 
against  cholera,  smallpox,  typhus,  yellow  fever,  typhoid,  paratyphoid, 
and  tetanus.  Spellman  met  with  the  British  Prime  Minister  and  reported, 
"Mr.  Churchill  said  that  he  is  a  man  of  faith,"  who  believed  that  the 
Almighty  God  saved  England  in  several  critical  situations ;  he  named  the 
failure  of  the  Germans  to  follow  up  on  their  success  at  Dunkirk,  the 
calm  sea  which  prevailed  for  the  first  day  in  many  weeks  at  the  time  of 
the  invasion  of  North  Africa,  and  several  other  occurrences  of  like 
moment. '^°  Spellman  spoke  at  numerous  chaplain  conferences,  celebrated 
Mass,  and  visited  civilians  and  military  of  all  ranks.  He  visited  Europe 
again  in  1944,  and  in  1945  made  an  extensive  visit  to  Europe  and  the  Far 
East.^"  He  wrote  of  meetings  with  various  chaplains,  including  William 
Walsh  and  Patrick  Ryan  in  North  Africa.  "Nothing  in  my  trip  gives  me 
greater  pleasure  than  these  informal  visits  with  the  chaplains — the  fulfill- 
ment of  the  purpose  of  my  journey."  "^ 

Bishop  Adna  W.  Leonard,  Chairman  of  the  General  Commission  on 
Chaplains,  made  a  similar  trip  to  visit  chaplains  and  other  military  in 
Europe  in  April  1943.  After  visiting  a  number  of  installations  in  Great 
Britain,  Leonard,  escorted  by  Chaplain  Frank  L.  Miller  and  in  the  com- 
pany of  General  Andrews,  flew  to  Iceland.  As  it  attempted  a  landing  in 
fog,  the  plane  crashed  into  a  rocky  hill  and  killed  all  members  of  the 
party  except  one  enlisted  man.  Dr.  William  Barrow  Pugh,  a  chaplain  in 
World  War  I,  was  chosen  to  succeed  Leonard  and  arrangements  were 
made  for  him  to  complete  the  tour  planned  by  his  predecessor.  Deputy 
Chief  of  Chaplains,  George  F.  Rixey,  served  as  his  military  aide.^^® 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

174  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Bishop  John  Andrew  Gregg  represented  the  Fraternal  Council  of 
Negro  Churches  of  America  in  a  visit  of  encouragement  and  inspiration. 
Accompanied  by  Chaplain  John  A.  DeVeaux,  Gregg  made  an  extended 
trip  through  Australia  and  the  Pacific,  and  later  toured  installations  in 
Europe,  Asia,  and  Africa.  The  color  line  was  first  encountered  in  Natal, 
where  the  law  would  not  permit  him  to  stay  at  a  hotel.  Trying  to  stay 
within  the  law,  yet  not  embarrass  a  representative  of  the  President, 
arrangements  were  made  for  him  to  stay  in  a  hospital  maintained  by 
American  Congregationalists.  He  delighted  his  hosts  by  a  remark  that  it 
was  appropriate  for  him  to  stay  in  a  hospital  because,  after  traveling 
around  the  world,  he  discovered  he  was  suffering  from  "an  incurable 
case  of  malignant  pigmentation."  "°  Bishop  Gregg  was  impressed  with 
the  fairness  with  which  he  saw  black  troops  treated,  and  was  "delighted 
to  see  them  operating  machinery  which  heretofore  they  had  no  oppor- 
tunity to  learn  to  operate.  Far  from  being  broken  and  embittered  by  this 
army  service,  they  are  acquiring  skills  which  will  make  them  more  useful 
citizens  when  the  war  is  ended."  "^  His  optimistic  assessment  of  the  treat- 
ment of  black  soldiers  may  have  been  naive,  or  cognizant  of  the  fact 
that  the  folks  at  home  needed  reassurance  in  wartime  more  than  they 
needed  racial  confrontation  and  discussion.  The  Bishop  did  not  use  this 
opportunity  to  confront  the  system. 

The  Jewish  Welfare  Board  organized  the  Committee  on  Army  and 
Navy  Religious  Activities  with  representatives  of  Orthodox,  Conservative 
and  Reform  groups.  Dr.  Philip  S.  Bernstein,  chairman  of  the  committee, 
wrote:  "The  entire  chaplaincy  situation  presents  this  paradox.  Most  of 
the  men  in  the  military  services  are  Orthodox ;  most  of  the  chaplains  are 
Reform,  most  of  the  services  are  Conservative."  ""  Dr.  Bernstein  visited 
the  Far  East,  and  Mr.  Walter  Rothschild  and  Dr.  Barnett  Bricker  visited 
Europe  and  North  Africa.  Their  observations,  and  those  made  by  other 
official  visitors,  led  to  improvement  in  Jewish  coverage."^ 

Other  distinguished  clergy  visitors  included  Dr.  Daniel  Poling,  Editor 
of  the  Christian  Herald  and  President  of  the  World  Christian  Endeavor 
Union;  Bishop  Henry  Knox  Sherrill,  Chairman  of  the  General  Commis- 
sion; Bishop  G.  Bromley  Oxnam,  President  of  the  Federal  Council  of 
Churches;  and  Bishop  Garber  of  the  World  Council  of  Churches."* 

Helping  Agencies 

The  chaplains  had  help  doing  their  jobs.  The  role  of  church  indors- 
ing agencies  was  discussed  earlier,  as  was  the  work  of  the  American  Bible 
Society  and  other  societies  that  furnished  religious  literature.  At  His  Side 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


was  an  extensive  history  of  the  Work  of  the  American  Red  Cross  overseas 
in  World  War  II."'  By  0755  on  7  December  1941  the  Red  Cross  Canteen 
was  operating  at  Pearl  Harbor.  1 1 ,000,000  pints  of  blood,  almost  one  pint 
for  every  man  and  woman  in  the  armed  services,  was  collected  through 
the  blood  donor  program.  A  statistically  minded  person  calculated  that 
for  three  years  after  Pearl  Harbor  blood  was  collected  at  the  rate  of  six 
pints  per  minute."*^  The  Red  Cross  gave  stationery  and  "comfort  items" 
to  chaplains  for  distribution.  Joint  programs,  facilities,  and  equipment 
were  utilized  at  many  posts.  A  Field  Director  said  of  Chaplain  Charles  I. 
Carpenter,  for  instance,  that  he  "is  friendly  to  Red  Cross  and  keenly 
interested  in  our  work  .  .  .  we  have  had  his  full  cooperation  at  all 
times."  "^  Sight  seeing  trips  were  organized  by  chaplains  in  conjunction 
with  the  Red  Cross  or  Special  Services.  The  presence  of  female  Red  Cross 
workers  helped  morale."® 

Similarly,  the  YMCA  was  a  friend  to  chaplains,  and  many  joint  pro- 
grams were  worked  out.  The  YMCA.  Film  Exchange  supported  the  chap- 
lains with  outstanding  films  such  as  "The  World  We  Want  To  Live  In," 
"Journey  Into  Faith,"  and  others  of  a  patriotic,  religious,  or  entertain- 
ment nature.  They  supplied  religious  literature  and  invited  chaplains 
regularly  to  hold  services  in  their  facilities."^  The  United  Services  Or- 
ganization (USO)  provided  service  centers  in  numerous  military  areas, 
and  some  denominations  and  individual  congregations  sponsored  centers. 
The  Holy  Name  Society,  the  Guardians  of  America,  The  Society  of 
Christian  Endeavor,  and  the  Servicemen's  Christian  League,  were  pro- 
grams used  by  chaplains  to  provide  fellowship,  devotion,  evangelism  and 
education.^"  Thousands  of  volunteer  workers  from  churches  and  syna- 
gogues gave  blood ;  became  drivers,  hostesses,  and  dancing  partners ;  knit- 
ted scarves;  served  doughnuts  and  coffee;  wrote  letters;  collected  scrap 
iron  and  tin  cans ;  bought  war  bonds  and  stamps ;  prayed  for  and  talked 
with  men  and  women  away  from  home.  They  cared,  and  hung  flags  in 
the  window  with  blue  service  stars  that  sometimes  tragically  turned  to 
gold  to  signify  the  death  of  a  person  in  service.  Everyone  knew  "there's  a 
war  on,"  a  popular  wartime  phrase,  and  most  did  something  about  it. 

Chaplain's  Assistants 

Not  until  World  War  II  were  chaplain's  assistants  provided  by  regu- 
lation, and  the  regulation  was  followed  in  most  cases  as  policy.  AR  60-5 
stipulated  that  the  commanding  oflficer  would  provide  chaplains  with 
assistants.  Training  Manual  12-427  classified  the  assistant  as  a  clerk- 
typist  (MOS  405)  and  most  tables  of  organization  provided  for  a  tech- 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

176  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

nician  with  a  grade  of  5 ;  later,  higher  levels  of  command  allowed  higher 
grades.  A  continuing  morale  problem  was  the  extremely  able  assistant 
who  could  not  be  promoted  in  his  unit  and  remain  as  an  assistant.  Many, 
out  of  loyalty  to  the  job,  refused  promotion. 

The  Chaplain's  assistant  was  not  the  chaplain's  orderly  nor  an  as- 
sistant chaplain.  His  duties  were  to  drive  and  maintain  a  jeep  and  trailer; 
typing,  play  the  organ  and  lead  a  choir;  carry  a  weapon  to  protect  him- 
self and  his  chaplain;  set  up  the  altar  for  Catholic,  Protestant,  or  Jewish 
services,  maintain  records  and  prepare  reports.  The  nature  of  the  work 
required  assistants  who  were  intelligent,  efficient,  and  of  unquestioned 
moral  stature.  In  many  cases  assistants  were  supplied  who  were  the  multi- 
talented  persons  of  chaplains'  fantasies.  In  other  cases  they  were  not  pro- 
vided at  all,  or  were  problem  children,  misfits,  given  to  the  chaplain  as  a 
challenge.'"  Kenneth  L.  Ames  said  of  his  assistant,  "His  uniqueness  was 
that  he  was  in  a  sense  my  passport  to  the  troops.  He  helped  me  to  know 
intimately  what  they  were  thinking,  their  state  of  morale,  etc.  .  .  .  He 
couldn't  play  an  organ,  had  only  a  high  school  education,  but  he  was  a 
priceless  asset  to  me."  "" 

Sometimes  they  felt  apart  from  the  men;  Kenneth  A.  Connelly,  Jr., 
a  college  graduate  and  talented  musician,  wrote  home  about  "the  com- 
mon man"  one  meets  in  the  barracks:  "How  can  we  expect  an  intelligently 
directed  democracy  in  a  nation  where  the  average  male  adult  finds  his 
favorite  reading  in  a  comic  book  .  .  .  beauty  in  hill-billy  songs,  burlesque 
and  peep  show  magazines  .  . .  philosophy  in  a  bottle  of  liquor?"  "^  Despite 
such  observations  Connelly's  real  concern  for  the  men  brought  a  com- 
mendation from  his  commanding  officer.  Colonel  T.  A.  Pedley,  Jr.  and 
Connelly  wrote  of  those  in  the  Battle  of  the  Bulge  .  .  .  "the  boys  in  the 
foxholes  are  showing  a  heroism  almost  beyond  belief  in  the  face  of  the 
greatest  suffering."  "^ 

Sergeant  Stanley  T.  Purdy  was  a  twenty-five-year-old  assistant  for 
William  F.  King.  King  had  so  many  close  calls  in  combat  that  Purdy 
complained  he  aged  twenty  years,  which  made  him  forty  five,  "and  too 
old  for  the  Army."  Purdy  said  "I  thought  driving  a  chaplain  around  was 
going  to  be  an  easy  job."  '*^ 

Two  assistants  were  killed  on  7  December  1941,  the  first  day  of  the 
war,  as  the  Japanese  attacked  Pearl  Harbor.""  A.  Jewish  assistant  in  the 
XVIII  Corps  (Airborne)  chaplain's  section  was  killed  when  the  vehicle 
he  drove  hit  a  mine  in  April  1945."'  Specific  statistics  were  not  kept  since 
the  assistants  were  lumped  together  by  military  occupational  specialty 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


with  all  other  clerk-typists.  Beyond  clerk-typist  school,  about  the  only 
training  for  assistants  was  on-the-job  experience;  there  were  a  few  con- 
ference-type schools,  none  exceeding  one  week.  In  1944  the  Army  Air 
Force  started  a  school  in  San  Antonio  which  offered  a  two  week  course."^ 
The  definitive  work  on  chaplain's  assistants  in  the  Army  has  not  been 
written,  though  some  literature  is  available. ^^^  One  official  report  said: 

Tribute  should  be  paid  to  chaplain  assistants  without  whose  energy 
the  chaplains  could  not  have  carried  on.  In  addition  to  their  regular 
duties  they  were  carpenters,  common  stone  masons,  landscape  engineers. 
.  .  .  The  good  humor  and  patience  of  a  chaplain's  assistant  were  often  a 
boon  to  the  chaplain's  morale. ^^° 

One  assistant  who  struggled  with  a  folding  altar,  a  portable  organ, 
communion  kit,  hymnal  chest,  and  public  address  system  turned  to  his 
chaplain  and  asked,  "Sir,  didn't  Jesus  travel  lighter  than  this?"  ^"^ 

Conscientious  Objectors 

The  conscience  of  some  men  did  not  permit  them  to  serve  in  the 
Army  in  any  capacity.  Civilian  Public  Service  Camps  were  organized  by 
the  churches  so  that  men  could  perform  'Svork  of  national  importance" 
approved  by  the  Selective  Service,  such  as  reforestation,  forest  fire  fight- 
ing, soil  erosion  control,  and  reclamation.  The  Congress  did  not  pay  any- 
thing toward  this  program,  which  grew  to  50  camps  and  8,000  men. 
Ninety  percent  of  the  money  to  operate  the  program  came  from  the 
churches.  The  Society  of  Friends,  Church  of  the  Brethren  and  the  Men- 
nonite  Church  (historic  peace  churches)  carried  the  heaviest  responsibil- 
ity for  the  program. 

The  courage  of  these  objectors  to  war  was  demonstrated  when  they 
volunteered  as  "guinea  pigs"  for  various  medical  and  dietary  experi- 
ments, and  served  as  "smoke  jumpers"  (parachute  fire  fighters) .  A  news- 
paper. The  Conscientious  Objector,  was  published  in  New  York.  A 
magazine.  The  Compass,  was  published  by  the  General  Assembly  of  the 
Presbyterian  Church  in  Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania.  These  organs  carried 
news  of  CO  camps  at  Coleville,  California,  Ambler,  Pennsylvania,  Seeley 
Lake,  Montana,  etc.  These  men  were  classified  IV-E,  and  were  con- 
sidered in  compliance  with  the  law. 

Men  who  reported  for  duty  with  the  Army  but  would  not  bear  arms 
were  interviewed  by  chaplains;  most  were  assigned  duties  as  medics, 
where  they  distinguished  themselves  in  combat  by  their  aid  to  the 
wounded,  often  at  the  risk  of  their  own  lives.  They  could  not  be  assigned 
as  chaplain's  assistants  because  the  duties  of  that  job  required  bearing 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

178  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

arms.  Others  served  in  transportation,  clerical,  special  services,  and 
quartermaster  jobs.  Many  counseling  sessions  resulted  when  these  men 
were  assigned  guard  duty  and  appealed  to  chaplains  for  help  in  their 
predicaments  of  conscience. 

Popular  Religion — Foxholes  And  Atheists 

The  crisis  of  war  made  many  a  man  turn  to  fundamental  faith  in 
God  in  which  he  found  strength  and  vision  for  the  demands  to  be  faced. 
Men  confronting  the  possibility  of  death,  caught  up  in  a  global  war  over 
which  they  personally  had  little  or  no  control,  realized  they  needed 
resources  of  faith  which  they  had  but  slightly  tapped  before. 

What  did  leaders  and  followers  believe?  How  "real"  was  the  religion 
of  the  soldier?  Was  there  a  turning  toward  or  from  traditional  faith? 
How  effective  were  the  chaplains  in  their  primary  mission  of  bringing 
man  to  God  and  God  to  man?  Was  it  Christianity  and  Judaism  that  were 
embraced,  or  a  kind  of  blurred  common  denominator  popular  blend  of 
faith  and  patriotism  called  "Americanism"? 

A  favorite  saying  in  the  period,  "There  are  no  atheists  in  fox  holes," 
was  addressed  by  many  chaplains  in  correspondence,  interviews,  question- 
naires, and  published  books  and  articles.  There  was  no  wave  of  religious 
conversion  to  support  this  saying.  Almost  all  the  chaplains  who  addressed 
the  subject  observed  that  religious  faith  was  not  usually  found  in  the 
stress  of  combat.  Rather,  religious  teachings  that  men  already  had 
embraced  were  a  source  of  strength,  and  the  time  of  peril  made  more 
dramatic  their  calling  upon  them.  There  was  a  new  awareness  on  the 
part  of  servicemen  and  women  of  the  resources  which  religion  had  to 
offer,  and  a  sensitivity  to  the  cogency  and  relevancy  of  religious  teachings 
to  the  peculiar  environment  of  which  they  were  a  part. 

While  men  attended  chapel  services,  drew  upon  their  personal 
resources  of  faith,  and  found  a  new  depth  of  religious  experience,  this 
was  not  necessarily  related  to  any  denominational  group.  Dr.  Dan  Poling, 
one  of  the  distinguished  clergy  visitors  to  the  world's  battlefronts,  said  in 
December  1943: 

On  all  the  fronts  where  I  have  gone  since  August  1941  from 
England  to  North  Africa,  from  South  America  to  Egypt,  India,  and 
China,  and  in  the  camps  at  home,  two  things  more  than  all  others  have 
troubled  me,  two  things  not  good  for  America.  First,  positive  bitterness 
against  organized  labor  (perhaps  I  should  write:  against  leaders  of 
organized  labor).  Second,  overwhelming  indifference  to  organized 
religion. ^^^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


The  reference  to  labor  concerned  the  strikes  at  home  in  essential 
industries,  when  servicemen  faced  serious  shortages  of  equipment — or 
the  fear  of  such  shortages.  The  second  point  made  by  Dr.  Poling  is  not  as 
easily  identified  in  terms  of  cause  and  effect.  Poling  meant  that  men  in 
the  stress  of  combat  sought  fundamentals  of  faith,  and  they  were  not 
particularly  interested  in  the  organized  church  as  such.  He  was  concerned 
whether  the  civilian  church  would  have  a  faith  as  vital  as  that  found  by 
men  flying  the  lonely  skies  or  fighting  in  the  foxholes. 

Gill  Robb  Wilson  after  his  1944  visit  in  England  wrote,  "No  one 
could  tell  me  what  effect  the  war  was  having  on  the  spiritual  life  of  men. 
All  were  certain  that  the  average  member  of  a  fighting  crew  took  con- 
stant refuge  in  prayer.  No  one  had  ever  heard  an  airman  scoff  at  religion." 
And  Air  Chaplain  Carpenter  wrote,  "I  know  of  no  minister  ...  in  the 
chaplaincy  who  was  looked  down  upon  because  he  was  true  to  the  ideals 
of  his  profession."  ^^^ 

It  is  safe  to  conclude  that  there  was  no  real  opposition  either  in 
the  service  or  the  civilian  community  to  the  work  of  chaplains  in  World 
War  II.  Many  soldiers  embraced  "popular  religion"  in  the  form  of  carry- 
ing a  rabbit's  foot  or  other  good  luck  charm;  wore  religious  medals 
which  they  endowed  with  only  half  thought,  through  beliefs;  or  adopted  a 
fatalism  reflected  in  "If  your  number  is  up,  your  number  is  up."  Men 
carried  Bibles  in  their  pockets  who  never  carried  them  before. 

Feelings  of  God's  presence  and  aid  became  a  very  common  theme. 
Colonel  Robert  Scott  wrote  a  famous  war  book,  God  Is  My  Co-Pilot. 
The  story  of  Captain  Eddie  Rickenbacker's  crash  landing  in  the  Pacific 
inspired  three  books,  Seven  Came  Through,  We  Thought  We  Heard  the 
Angels  Sing,  and  Life  Out  There.  In  these  books,  and  in  many  statements 
of  personal  faith  there  was  a  closeness  to  God,  almost  chumminess.  One 
pilot  said,  "We  still  fly  our  raids  with  the  firm  faith  that  God  is  riding 
our  ship — sometimes  you  can  actually  see  and  hear  him."  Technical 
Sergeant  Joseph  Monfort  said,  "I  never  felt  as  close  to  God  as  I  did  over 
there.  It  was  every  living,  breathing  moment  of  day  and  nite,  and  He 
would  be  there  to  'just  chew  the  fat'  with  me."  Lt.  Robert  Trenkle  said, 
"When  I  am  in  combat,  I  just  call  on  God  to  look  after  me.  There  is 
nothing  for  me  to  worry  about.  All  I  have  to  do  from  then  on  is  just  do 
my  job.  If  He  wants  me  to  come  back.  He'll  get  me  through."  ^"^ 

Many  pilots  and  aircrew  men  felt  they  owed  their  lives  to  their  faith 
in  God.  Captain  M.  L.  Vinson  of  Houston,  Texas,  piloted  a  Flying 
Fortress  on  a  raid  over  Germany.  The  plane  was  hit  several  times  and 
there  were  at  least  two  bad  explosions  inside  the  aircraft.  Two  engines 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

180  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

were  dead  and  die  ship  was  wobbling  badly  and  losing  altitude.  He 
ordered  his  ten  shipmates  to  bail  out,  but  at  the  last  minute  decided  to 
bring  the  ship  in  although  he  would  not  allow  his  crew  to  take  the  risk 
involved.  When  he  landed  he  said  "The  Man  Upstairs  brought  me 
down.  I  talked  to  him  plenty — and  He  must  have  heard  me.  You  see  the 
chips  were  down!"  Clifford  Anderson  made  a  blind  emergency  landing 
at  night  when  his  own  life  and  the  lives  of  several  civilians  were  at  stake. 
He  reported,  "I  never  would  have  attempted  a  landing  there  in  day- 
light— it  wasn't  humanly  possible  .  .  .  The  Lord  did  it  for  me."  ^^^  Simi- 
lar stories  of  rescue,  dehverance  and  religious  faith  can  be  found  in  every 
theatre  of  the  war. 

The  theological  fine  points  of  what  happened  to  those  who  believed 
just  as  strongly  and  lost  their  lives,  whether  God  does  in  fact  ride  in  a 
machine  whose  mission  is  to  rain  down  death  from  the  skies,  and 
whether  God  was  on  America's  side,  were  not  deeply  examined.  Neither 
did  some  see  the  incongruity  in  the  story  told  by  Chaplain  Roy  M. 
Terry,  about  the  time  he  heard  a  terriffic  amount  of  profanity  outside 
his  chapel  hut  in  North  Africa;  upon  investigation  he  discovered  the 
men  were  building  an  altar  to  surprise  him.  In  many  disciplines  there  is 
the  authentic  and  the  distorted — so  it  was  with  popular  religion.  Some- 
times they  were  inextricably  mixed. 

The  Final  Days  of  War 

As  the  war  continued  in  Europe  and  the  Pacific  there  were  some 
changes  in  the  Chief  of  Chaplain's  Office.  On  7  December  1944  a  unique 
promotion  ceremony  took  place.  Chaplain  George  F.  Rixey  pinned  the 
second  star  on  Chaplain  William  R.  Arnold,  making  him  the  first 
chaplain  to  hold  the  rank  of  Major  General.  Then  Arnold  reciprocated 
by  pinning  a  star  on  Rixey,  which  established  the  grade  of  Brigadier 
General  for  the  Deputy  Chief  of  Chaplains.'^*^ 

On  1  April  1945  the  War  Department  announced  that  Arnold, 
whose  eight-year  tour  as  Chief  was  soon  to  expire,  was  designated  As- 
sistant Inspector  General  in  the  Office  of  the  Inspector  General.'" 
Chaplain  (Brigadier  General  Luther  D.  Miller  replaced  him  as  Chief 
of  Chaplains.  Rixey  also  was  moved  to  the  Office  of  the  Inspector  Gen- 
eral and  replaced  by  the  former  Commandant  of  the  Chaplain  School, 
William  D.  Cleary.  Cleary,  a  Catholic,  served  as  Deputy  to  Miller,  an 
Episcopalian.  Thus  the  custom  initiated  by  Arnold,  that  a  Catholic 
Chief  had  a  Protestant  Deputy,  and  vice  versa,  was  continued. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


Luther  D.  Miller  had  twenty-six  years  of  service  when  nominated 
to  be  Chief  of  Chaplains;  the  last  thirty-three  months  of  that  were  in 
the  Pacific  as  Sixth  Army  Chaplain.  A  native  of  Leesburg,  Pennsylvania, 
a  graduate  of  Thiel  College  in  Greenville,  Pennsylvania,  and  of  Chicago 
Theological  Seminary,  he  entered  Army  service  in  August  1918.  Miller 
served  in  prewar  China,  Hawaii,  Fort  Sam  Houston,  and  Columbia, 
South  Carolina;  in  World  War  II,  he  served  in  Austraha,  New  Guinea, 
and  the  Philippines.''^ 

While  promotions  were  going  on  at  the  top  there  was  some  dissatis- 
faction a  little  further  down  the  line.  Promotion  policy  was  unequal, 
especially  overseas.  Chaplains  came  on  duty  as  first  lieutenants  and 
could  be  promoted  to  captain  easily  and  quickly  in  the  United  States, 
but  much  more  slowly  in  theaters  outside  the  country.  This  caused 
morale  problems  when  chaplain  captains  arrived  from  the  States  with 
less  time  in  the  Army  than  some  chaplain  lieutenants  had  in  combat. 
By  the  end  of  the  war,  promotion  to  the  grade  of  captain  was  usual  for 
any  chaplain  who  had  served  any  length  of  time. 

Grades  higher  than  captain  were  reserved  for  those  in  supervisory 
positions.  Promotion  to  field  grade  was  dependent  on  serving  in  an  au- 
thorized position  division  level  or  higher,  calling  for  supervisory  respon- 
sibilities over  other  chaplains.  Overseas  "spot  promotions"  could  be 
given  to  chaplains  assigned  to  such  positions.  What  this  meant  in  actual 
practice  was  that  a  chaplain  assigned  to  a  line  unit  calling  for  a  captain 
would  stay  in  that  grade,  perhaps  throughout  the  war.  But  a  chaplain 
might  be  assigned  to  a  headquarters  that  expanded,  and  expanded 
again,  so  that  a  chaplain  like  Carpenter  in  the  Air  Forces  went  from  cap- 
tain to  colonel  in  fifteen  months!  This  led  some  wags  to  erect  a  sign  in 
front  of  the  officer's  club : 

Young  colonels  of  the  Air  Force  under  2 1  years  of  age  will  not  be 
admitted  to  the  bar  unless  accompanied  by  a  parent. 

Jorgensen  stated: 

Actually,  staff  chaplains  had  too  wide  an  area  for  supervision  and 
many  company  grade  chaplains  held  staff  responsibility.  .  .  .  To  have 
doubled  the  number  of  field  grade  chaplains  would  have  provided  a 
better  promotion  program,  closer  supervision,  and  enhanced  status. ^^® 

Late  in  1944  Chief  of  Chaplains  Arnold  selected  the  musical 
composition  "Soldiers  of  God"  as  the  official  chaplain  march.  It  was 
first  introduced  to  radio  audiences  by  Bing  Crosby  on  his  Easter 
broadcast  over  the  NBC  network.  Jacob  Sampson  Payton  said  of  it, 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

246-684  O  -  78  -  13 

182  TTIE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

^'The  official  march  is  no  more  martial  than  'Onward  Christian  Sol- 
diers'. Its  words  breathe  no  lust  for  vengeance,  no  appeal  to  war  and  no 
glorification  of  war."  ^*'°  Words  of  the  song  follow: 

Faithful  to  God, 

We're  serving  on  the  battlefield  today. 
Embracing:  the  cause  of  Ri.ghteousness, 
We're  marching  on  our  way. 

Soldiers  of  God, 

We  serve  Him  faithfully, 

And  march  in  His  name  thru  thunder  and  flame 

Wherever  the  "Call"  may  be. 

Trusting  in  God, 

His  strength  we  lean  upon, 

As  into  the  fight  the  Legions  of  Light, 

The  Soldiers  of  God,  march  on. 

We  are  there,  as  the  chaplains  of  the  nation, 

Ev'rywhere  with  our  fighting  congregation, 

Serving  the  Lord, 

And  serving  the  cause  of  humanity. 

Onward  we  go  till  victory  is  won, 

For  Justice  and  Right  the  Legions  of  Light 

The  Soldiers  of  God  march  on! 

Burial  of  the  dead  with  appropriate  honors  was  a  real  concern  of 
chaplains.  Every  effort  was  made  to  see  that  each  soldier  was  buried  in 
the  appropriate  manner  of  his  faith.  The  Arabs  were  impressed  when  a 
chaplain  and  his  party  made  a  long  trek  into  the  Atlas  Mountains  to 
bring  out  the  bodies  of  airmen.  In  Australia  a  party  climbed  two  days 
through  briars  and  jungle  vines  to  reach  and  bury  the  bodies  of  seven 
killed  on  a  high  mountain. 

In  the  summer  of  1945,  21  persons  met  death  when  their  plane 
crashed  into  the  cliffs  in  New  Guinea.  A  few  days  later  a  Catholic  and 
a  Protestant  chaplain  flew  to  the  scene.  Landing  was  impossible  so  they 
dropped  crosses  and  a  Star  of  David  to  Filipino  paratroopers  who  were 
to  dig  the  graves.  While  the  plane  circled  the  spot,  the  chaplains  recited 
the  funeral  rituals  of  their  faiths.  No  Jewish  chaplain  was  available 
within  a  thousand  miles,  so  one  of  the  chaplains  read  the  service  of  that 
faith  for  the  Jewish  girl  who  was  among  the  victims.  Wallace  Hale,  on 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


the  Italian  front,  reported  the  burial  of  414  Americans  and  168  of  the 
enemy  in  July  1944.  Though  the  figures  rose  and  fell  over  the  months 
that  followed  he  gave  each  man  a  separate  and  appropriate  service/" 

As  the  war  came  to  a  close  the  "living  dead"  of  the  prison  camps 
were  set  free.  Among  them  were  civilian  clergy  and  chaplains.  The  work 
the  chaplains  did  with  former  prisoners  and  displaced  persons  was  vital, 
but  shocked  them  to  the  depths  of  their  souls. 

Robert  L.  Schock  visited  a  concentration  camp  at  Ludwigslust. 
The  camp  held  French,  Poles,  Italians  and  "was  offensive  to  nose,  eye, 
and  heart.  Men  lay  dying  from  starvation,  illness,  and  inhumane  treat- 
ment, too  weak  in  fact,  to  dispose  of  their  own  bodily  excretions.  When 
the  able  ones  heard  Mass  was  going  to  be  said,  they  shed  tears  of  grati- 
tude." On  8  May  burial  services  were  held  with  townspeople  forced  to 
attend.  Catholic,  Protestant,  and  Jewish  chaplains  were  present,  and 
services  were  amplified  with  loudspeakers  and  conducted  in  German 
and  English.^^' 

The  Jewish  chaplains  felt  more  personally  than  most  a  special  in- 
terest in  the  wretched  people  of  the  concentration  camps,  and  were  able 
to  reach  them  through  a  common  faith  and  language.  Judah  Nadich 
was  advisor  to  General  Eisenhower  on  Jewish  Affairs  in  the  European 
Theatre  of  Operations.  His  duty  included  visits  to  concentration  camps 
and  DP  (Displaced  Persons)  camps,  and  he  reported  directly  to 
Eisenhower  or  his  Chief  of  Staff,  Walter  B.  Smith.  Due  to  the  interna- 
tional character  of  his  work  he  received  The  Croix  De  Guerr^  from 
France,  Order  of  The  British  Empire  from  Great  Britain,  and  the  Aleh 
(Warrior's  Medal)  from  Israel.'"'  Nadich  said,  "The  Nazi  crime 
against  the  Jews  was  without  precedence.  .  .  .  The  Army  had  not  en- 
countered such  problems  before  and  was  not  prepared  to  cope  with 
them  ....  The  Rabbis  in  uniform  were  the  first  to  cope  with  the  chaos 
that  followed  liberation."  '"'^  One  sobbing  survivor  called  the  first 
American  Jewish  chaplain  she  saw  "a  malach  fun  Gott,"  an  angel  sent 
by  God.  Chaplains  Samuel  Teitlebaum  and  Earl  S.  Stone  worked  with 
the  Jewish  Brigade  and  the  Palestinian  transport  companies  in  Italy. 
David  Max  Eichhorn,  Samuel  Schenck,  Herman  Dicker,  and  Aaron 
Tofield  worked  in  France.  Isaac  Klien,  Arthur  Brodey,  Meyer  G.  Gold- 
man, Morris  A.  Sandhaus,  Benjamin  Gorrelick  and  Carl  Miller  \vorked 
in  Belgium.  Rabbi  Gorrelick  received  100  packages  a  week  containing 
food,  drugs  and  vitamins,  from  his  congregation  in  Albany,  New  York.'*^^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

184  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

In  Germany  the  liberators  found  horrors  that  were  far  greater  than 
anything  beyond  the  Rhine.  There  were  the  gas  chambers,  dog  pits, 
crematoria,  mass  graves,  slave  labor  camps;  and  the  disease-wracked, 
emaciated  survivors,  too  dazed  to  comprehend  liberation.  The  problems 
of  relief  demanded  quick  solution.  Immediate  medical  attention,  food, 
clothing,  medicines,  and  sanitation  necessities,  were  required  in  vast 
amounts.  One  of  the  first  requirements  in  every  camp  was  for  information 
about  missing  relatives.  Since  no  civilian  postal  system  was  functioning, 
the  chaplains  and  their  assistants  forwarded  and  received  mail  through 
military  channels.  Many  yearned  for  religious  services  so  long  denied 
them.  Prayer  books,  Torah  scrolls,  prayer  shawls  and  other  articles  for 
religious  observance  were  obtained.  Jewish  chaplains  raised  funds  from 
soldiers;  kept  records  of  survivors;  traced  and  reunited  families;  held 
services;  wrote  letters;  pleaded,  cajoled,  and  goaded  commanders  into 
speedy  action  in  providing  engineer,  transportation,  quartermaster,  and 
medical  support.  And  they  acted  on  their  own  besides.  In  some  cases 
commanders  and  senior  chaplains  were  too  literalistic  in  interpreting 
regulations  which  did  not  provide  for  chaplains  to  minister  to  foreign 
civilians.  Often  a  chaplain  would  initiate  a  program  and  then  be  ordered 
to  move  on  with  the  troops,  his  primary  responsibility.^*"^ 

Ernest  Lorge  wrote:  "We  begged,  borrowed  and — now  it  can  be 
admitted — stole  large  quantities  of  clothing  so  that  these  victims  of  Nazi 
madness  could  discard  the  rags  of  their  nightmare.  .  .  .  There  will  never 
be  an  adequate  account  of  what  the  average  chaplain  did  in  the  course 
of  a  single  day,  .  .  ."  ^^' 

Abraham  FefTer,  a  17-year-old  Jewish  lad  from  Poland,  was  an 
emaciated  "corpse"  when  rescued  by  an  American  Jewish  chaplain  at 
Dachau,  He  regained  his  health,  learned  English,  and  became  an  inter- 
preter for  the  U.S.  forces.  He  went  to  the  United  States,  completed  his 
education,  and  joined  the  Army  as  a  chaplain  himself.  Ten  years  after 
his  rescue  by  a  chaplain  he  became  one,  to  "repay  a  debt  for  my  life."  "^ 

Many  clergymen  were  among  the  prisoners  freed.  Among  them  were 
37  Army  chaplains,  21  from  German  prison  camps  and  16  from  Japanese 
camps.^^^  Two  chaplains  were  not  allowed  to  leave  the  officers'  compound 
while  prisoners;  so,  "We  wrote  sermons,  tied  them  to  rocks,  and  threw 
them  across  the  fence  to  be  read  at  different  times."  ""  Alfred  C.  Oliver, 
more  than  six  feet  tall,  weighed  215  pounds  at  the  time  of  his  capture  by 
the  Japanese.  He  lost  100  pounds.  Recovering  in  Walter  Reed,  he  was 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


awarded  a  Purple  Heart  for  the  three  times  he  was  beaten  into  uncon- 
sciousness, and  an  Oak  Leaf  Cluster  for  the  rifle  butt  blow  that  broke  his 
neck.  Beri-beri  hampered  the  use  of  his  le,2j.  Thous^h  his  body  was  broken 
his  spirit  was  not.  "...  I  didn't  lose  God,"  he  said.''' 

In  the  prison  camps  and  throughout  the  Army,  there  were  services 
of  thanksgiving  for  the  end  of  captivity,  the  completion  of  a  campaign, 
and  at  long  last — the  end  of  the  war.  In  Italy  the  men  of  the  88th 
Division  held  a  great  service  of  thanksgiving.  Eleven  thousand  men  met 
on  a  mountainside,  sang  patriotic  hymns,  heard  an  address  by  their  com- 
mander, and  separated  into  services  of  the  three  faiths.''  Jacob  St.  Clair 
Bousum  was  in  the  mountains  going  through  cliff-climbing  training. 
When  they  returned  to  camp  they  heard  the  church  bells  ringing  and 
were  told  Germany  was  defeated.  "Tired  and  dirty  as  we  were  in  our 
soiled  fatigues  .  .  .  conducted  right  then  and  there  the  most  spontaneous 
service  of  prayer,  praise,  and  thanksgiving  of  all  religious  faiths.  The 
joyous  victory  parades  the  following  days  .  .  .  were  nothing  compared  to 
this  inspirational  service."  '"^  Aaron  Paperman,  also  in  Italy,  was  credited 
with  the  largest  military  Seder  ever  held.  Over  4,000  military  personnel 
crowded  into  the  waiting  room  of  a  railroad  station  at  Florence  to  observe 
the  Festival  of  Freedom  at  Passover  time.''* 

General  MacArthur  issued  an  order  6  February  1945,  requesting 
divine  services  throughout  his  command  in  thanksgiving  for  the  liberation 
of  Manila.  A  solemn  military  field  Mass  was  attended  by  5,000  after  the 
Philippines  were  liberated,  with  John  F.  Depkiewicz  as  celebrant.'""  Spon- 
taneous and  planned  celebrations  occurred  wherever  soldiers  were  found. 
Chapels  were  opened  for  prayer.  The  war  was  over.  Everybody  wanted 
to  go  home.  Overnight  the  problems  of  war  were  replaced  by  the  prob- 
lems of  peace.  Morale  soared  because  the  war  was  over,  and  then  plunged 
as  "going  home"  was  delayed  by  the  demands  of  an  occupation  force. 
The  war  was  over.  But  the  chaplain's  job  was  not  over. 

In  May  1945  AAF  Chaplain  Conference  was  held  at  Gravelly  Point, 
D.C.,  and  the  program  included  planning  for  G.I.  Bill  of  Rights,  Rede- 
ployment, Readjustment,  and  Demobilization;  the  Future  of  the  Chap- 
laincy, Rotation,  Replacement,  Separations,  and  Surplus  Chaplains.''' 


The  chaplain  ministered  in  the  context  of  the  times.  In  the  1920's 
there  was  a  backlog  of  goodwill  left  over  from  the  heroic  service  of  World 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

186  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

War  I  chaplains.  But  the  ranks  of  the  "corps"  were  in  disarray.  The 
anti-military  response  of  the  American  public  was  joined  with  pacifist 
sentiment  in  the  churches,  and  while  it  was  more  vocal  than  numerically 
strong  it  had  an  effect  upon  the  chaplaincy.  Nevertheless,  the  branch  got 
organized,  came  up  with  a  Chief,  a  school,  regulations  defining  duties, 
equipment,  and  started  to  supervise  itself  from  within.  The  denomina- 
tions moved  closer  to  their  clergy  in  uniform,  and  there  was  partial 
support  in  high  places  of  the  military  establishment.  But  the  good  things 
came  slowly,  feebly,  and  never  completely  as  requested. 

The  1930's  saw  the  Army  and  its  needs  put  so  far  on  the  back  burner 
that  some  of  the  institutional  gains  of  the  20's  were  lost.  The  school  foun- 
dered, the  branch  chief  was  limited  in  rank/influence,  and  the  support 
from  the  top  was  minimal. 

The  1940's  saw  a  setting  almost  totally  unrelated  to  what  had  pro- 
ceeded it.  The  connecting  links  are  there,  but  it  requires  some  diligence 
to  discover  them.  The  differences  stand  out  more  clearly  than  the 

The  chaplaincy  never  had  stronger  support  from  the  top  than  it  did 
under  Chief  of  Staff,  General  George  C.  Marshall,  and  commanders  like 
Eisenhower,  MacArthur,  Patton,  Arnold,  and  others.  Positive,  effective, 
support  replaced  apathy  and  tolerance.  Whatever  problems  were  en- 
countered, or  remained  to  be  worked  out  institutionally,  could  not  be 
laid  at  the  door  of  top  military  leaders. 

General  Marshall  spoke  of  the  importance  of  religion  in  the  Army : 

I  am  deeply  concerned  as  to  the  type  of  chaplain  we  get  into  the 
Army,  for  I  look  upon  the  spiritual  life  of  the  soldier  as  even  more  im- 
portant than  his  physical  equipment.  .  .  .  The  soldier's  heart,  the 
soldier's  spirit,  the  soldiers  soul  are  everything.  Unless  the  soldier's  soul 
sustains  him,  he  cannot  be  relied  upon  and  will  fail  himself  and  his  com- 
mander and  his  country  in  the  end 

It's  morale — and  I  mean  spiritual  morale — which  wins  the  victory 
in  the  ultimate,  and  that  type  of  morale  can  only  come  out  of  the  re- 
ligious nature  of  a  soldier  who  knows  God  and  who  had  the  spirit  of 
religious  fervor  in  his  soul.  I  count  heavily  on  that  type  of  man  and  that 
kind  of  Army. ^" 

Geneal  Douglas  MacArthur  stated : 

Throughout  the  history  of  mankind,  symbols  have  exerted  an  im- 
pelling influence  upon  the  lives  of  men.  The  cross  and  flag  are  embodi- 
ments of  our  ideals  and  teach  us  not  only  how  to  live  but  how  to  die.^'^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


The  impact  of  statements  like  these  certainly  helped  create  a  climate 
in  which  the  chaplain  was  not  only  free  to  minister,  but  was  supported 
and  encouraged.  The  words  were  backed  up  by  deeds.  Chapel  building, 
the  establishment  of  the  Chaplain  School,  promotion  of  the  Chief  of 
Chaplains  to  Major  General,  the  expansion  of  the  branch  to  9,000  chap- 
lains, supplies  and  equipment,  training  funds,  regulations  defining  the 
commander's  responsibilities,  all  of  these  were  testimony  to  the  fact  that 
the  country  and  the  Army  wanted  the  chaplains  to  do  a  good  job. 

Morale,  counseling  statistics,  and  attendance  at  religious  services 
were  used  as  partial  indicators  of  how  well  the  mission  of  the  chaplaincy 
was  carried  out.  They  are  not  perfect  indicators,  but  shed  some  light.  A 
rather  startling  revelation  was  that  all  but  approximately  5  percent  of 
military  personnel  professed  identification  as  Protestant,  Catholic,  or 
Jewish,  but  less  than  half  had  received  instruction  in  church  membership 
or  united  with  a  church  in  a  formal  way.^'^  Many  servicemen  associated 
religion  with  the  church  "back  home"  and  could  not  give  the  same  affec- 
tionate loyalty  to  the  chapel  program.  The  serviceman  or  w^oman  had 
little  free  time  and  did  not  want  to  spend  it  at  the  military  installation; 
many  of  them  found  their  way  to  friendly  civilian  churches.  Practically 
all  dependents  lived  in  civilian  communities  and  attended  churches  there. 
The  great  number  of  single  service  personnel  and  military  dependents 
attending  church  in  civilan  communities  were  never  reported  by  chap- 

In  spite  of  this  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  in  his  annual  report  of  1943 

The  percent  of  monthly  attendance  as  compared  with  Army 
strength  is  97.5  percent  for  a  yearly  average  .  .  .  the  total  church  at- 
tendance each  month  equals  97.5  percent  of  total  Army  strength. ^^° 

It  ought  to  be  noted  that  if  one  man  went  four  times  a  month  the 
"Army"  would  look  better  in  terms  of  averages  than  was  actually  the 
case.  What  may  be  a  more  significant  statistic  is  the  fact  that  each  chap- 
lain averaged  19.5  religious  services  per  month  with  a  total  attendance 
of  1,160.  This  would  imply  that  opportunities  were  made  available  for 
men  to  go  to  church.  The  Reverend  Martin  Neales,  a  retired  lieutenant 
colonel  of  World  War  I,  visited  Scott  Field  in  November  1941  and  "com- 
mented especially  on  the  large  number  of  men  attending  services  ...  as 
compared  to  what  was  observed  during  1917  and  1918."  ^^^ 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

188  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

A  statistical  report  for  a  typical  month  (May,  1944)  '^^  showed  the 
chaplain's  activities : 

Religious  Services 170,902 

Attendance  upon  Religious  Services 10,160,881 

Communion  and  Sacramental  Occasions 105,965 

Participants   1,370,908 

Guardhouse  and  Hospital  Visits 1 10,093 

Pastoral  Activities — Functional  Occasions 989,995 

Pastoral  Contacts — Persons  Reached 7,480,646 

Civilian  Communities — Functional  Occasions 32,832 

Contacts — Persons    Reached 3,368,515 

Some  other  tangible  measurements  are  available.  Southern  Baptist 
chaplains  were  evangelists  who  kept  records.  In  1945  they  reported  91,740 
professions  of  faith.  From  1940  to  1945  they  reported  298,932  professions 
of  faith.  Another  interesting  assessment  is  the  number  of  men  who  made 
decisions  to  enter  the  ministry.  The  General  Commission  on  Chaplains 
in  1945  mailed  a  questionnaire  to  Protestant  chaplains  requesting  the 
names  of  men  who  intended  to  prepare  for  the  ministry.  Though  the  sur- 
vey came  late  in  the  war  and  little  more  than  50  percent  of  Protestant 
chaplains  responded,  by  early  1946  there  were  3,933  names  submitted, 
which  the  Commission  in  turn  sent  to  40  denominational  agencies  for  the 
follow  up.  The  largest  response  was  as  follows. 

Baptist  (all  groups) 1,028 

Methodist 753 

Presbyterian 348 

Lutheran 295 

Disciples 152 

Congregational 95 

When  one  considers  that  this  survey  did  not  include  Catholic  or 
Jewish  personnel,  and  was  answered  by  only  half  the  Protestant  chaplains 
late  in  the  war — it  would  be  interesting  to  know  how  many  priests,  rabbis, 
and  Protestant  ministers,  as  well  as  other  full-time  religious  workers,  were 
former  servicemen  and  women,  and  how  many  made  their  decision  while 
in  the  Army.^^^ 

Chaplain  Thomas  Carter  prepared  and  administered  an  interesting 
questionnaire  "What  Do  You  Think  of  Religion?"  It  attempted  to 
analyze  and  classify  the  opinions  of  men  returning  from  overseas  with 
regard  to  religious  customs  and  experiences.  A  majority  felt  that  their 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


experience  in  the  service  had  aided  their  attendance  at  worship  services 
because  these  services  were  more  accessible  and  directed  to  their  personal 
needs,  or  because  of  the  sobering  effects  of  combat.  Nearly  half  these  men 
recognized  a  change  in  their  attitude  toward  religion,  and  this  change 
was  almost  always  favorable.  A  large  majority  spoke  favorably  of  the 
work  of  chaplains.  Adverse  comments  included  such  statements  as 
"narrow  minded,"  "tend  to  force  rehgion  and  worship  on  men,"  "too 
much  idealizing,"  "partial  to  men  of  their  own  denomination."  ^^* 

A  strong  Chief  of  Chaplains  who  had  the  rank,  authority,  and 
organization  to  administer  a  religious  program  in  the  Army  was  another 
positive  strength  throughout  this  period.  Sitting  as  Chief  of  9,000  chap- 
lains instead  of  125  made  an  obvious  difference  in  terms  of  number  impact 
alone.  Chaplains  were  much  more  "visible"  than  they  had  been  at  any 
previous  time  in  terms  of  size.  The  chaplaincy  had  the  whole-hearted 
support  of  the  churches  and  synagogues  of  America.  The  church  was 
aware  that  its  future  was  closely  tied  to  what  happened  to  America's 
millions  of  young  men  in  the  service. 

Role  expectation  was  much  clearer  on  the  part  of  the  Army,  the 
churches,  and  the  chaplains.  President  Roosevelt  said  in  1942,  "And  we 
will  never  fail  to  provide  for  the  spiritual  needs  of  our  officers  and  men 
under  the  chaplains  of  our  armed  services."  The  focal  point  of  a  chap- 
lain's ministry,  everyone  agreed,  was  the  leadership  of  religious  services, 
and  though  the  task  was  herculean,  an  unbiased  look  at  the  record  shows 
that  men  and  women  in  the  armed  services  had  full  opportunity  to  wor- 
ship. There  were  shortcomings  in  this  area  that  appear  to  be  related  to 
administration  and  transportation  problems.  An  example  occurred  in 
late  1943  when  approximately  200,000  men  in  fighter  and  bomber 
service  groups  were  moved  to  England  with  no  provisions  for  doctors  or 
chaplains.  The  Staff  Chaplain,  Arthur  Dodgson,  put  in  a  frantic  call  for 
150  chaplains.  Within  two  months  140  were  sent.^^^ 

Time  lost  in  "pipe-line"  status  for  those  going  from  one  assignment 
to  another  made  a  staggering  drain  upon  available  personnel.  Robert 
Chapman  told  of  being  sent  overseas  from  Pinedale  Army  Air  Base, 
California.  He  was  sent  to  Greensboro,  N.C.,  and  the  Overseas  Replace- 
ment Depot  where  he  waited  some  weeks  for  shipment  orders,  then  to 
France,  to  Germany,  back  to  France,  and  then  to  the  844th  Engineer 
Battalion.  Several  months  of  potential  service  were  "wasted"  for  him  and 
the  Army.  His  case  was  not  unusual.  At  times  as  many  as  50  chaplains 
waited  six  to  eight  weeks  at  Kearns  AAB,  Utah,  awaiting  shipment 
orders  that  would  take  them  to  Camp  Stoneman,  California,  for  further 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

190  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

delay,  and  then  to  the  Pacific,  where  more  weeks  would  be  lost  in  a 
replacement  pool  before  assignment."*"  It  can  be  blamed  on  bigness,  red 
tape,  the  everchanging  needs  and  priorities,  but  it  was  a  problem  that 
should  have  been  solved. 

The  expectation  of  the  Army,  that  the  chaplain  would  help  provide 
good  morale  for  a  unit,  is  an  almost  impossible  quality  to  measure. 
Certainly  many  chaplains  took  this  role  seriously  and  confronted  the 
system  on  everything  from  "semi-officially  sponsored"  prostitution,  to 
requiring  soldiers  to  be  armed  with  prophylactics,  to  cleaning  up  camp 
shows,  and  combating  alcoholism  with  recreation  and  wholesome  off 
duty  programs.  The  role  of  the  chaplain  as  counselor  was  closely  tied  to 
morale.  The  amount  of  counseling  done  by  chaplains,  viewed  in  retro- 
spect, appears  super-human.  There  is  no  yardstick  to  measure  suicides 
not  attempted,  AWOLS  avoided,  and  breakdowns  that  did  not  happen. 
In  terms  of  mental  health,  the  chaplains'  programs  aimed  at  improving 
morale  may  have  been  a  pioneering  effort  in  community  preventative 

The  chaplains  adjusted  their  presentation  of  the  ancient  gospel  to 
the  world  in  which  they  found  themselves  in  many  ways.  Technologically 
they  pioneered  in  the  years  of  this  volume,  using  motion  pictures,  phono- 
graphs, slides,  public  address  systems,  radio,  and  press  to  extend  their 
influence  and  reach  unchurched  audiences  through  these  media.  In  terms 
of  transportation  they  traveled  by  jeep,  airplane,  parachute,  ship,  snow 
shoes,  and  train  to  reach  beyond  what  any  circuit  rider  of  the  past  could 
have  accomplished.  They  were  conscious  of  their  listeners,  and  of  their 
needs,  so  that  they  again  and  again  remarked  that  their  sermons  were  not 
the  same  as  those  they  preached  at  home.  There  was  a  constant  note  of 
practical  application,  directness,  urgency,  and  basics  in  their  preaching 
and  teaching.  The  skills  of  modern  counseling  influenced  by  psychology 
were  applied  with  a  greater  degree  of  professionalism  than  had  been  true 
at  any  previous  time.  The  very  fact  that  they  had  a  chapel  building  in 
which  to  center  their  programs  of  education,  music,  and  worship  was  a 
very  real  forward  step.  The  translation  skills,  concerns  for  humane  treat- 
ment of  prisoners,  the  world  wide  relief  work,  and  the  ministry  to  dis- 
placed persons  were  new  kinds  of  ministry  both  in  setting,  scope,  and 
sheer  numbers. 

Selection,  indorsement,  and  training,  while  not  fool-proof,  had  cer- 
tainly lifted  the  status  and  effectiveness  of  individual  chaplains.  Effective 
supervision  by  those  in  their  own  branch  offered  continued  on  the  job 
training  in  putting  their  faith  to  work  within  the  military  setting. 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 


When  all  these  factors  have  been  taken  into  consideration  it  must  be 
remembered  that  the  effectiveness  of  chaplains  in  the  Army  was  not 
dependent  on  tables  of  organization,  status,  local  commanders,  regula- 
tions, equipment,  church  boards  and  agencies,  or  the  Chief's  Office;  but 
the  local  chaplain  working  with  the  men  of  his  unit  determined  what  the 
chaplaincy  was  for  many  a  GI,  and  influenced  him  for  good  or  ill,  or  not 
at  all. 

How  well  did  the  individual  chaplains  do  their  job?  Lingering  stories 
suggest  that  with  the  rapid  expansion  of  the  branch  there  were  some 
unworthy  chaplains  in  the  Army. 

Chaplains  who  drank  too  much,  used  profanity,  gambled,  engaged 
in  sexual  promiscuity,  did  black  marketeering,  or  were  rank  happy, 
received  more  word-of-mouth  publicity  than  those  who  meant  well  but 
were  incompetent  in  the  face  of  the  great  demands  put  upon  them  during 
the  war.  There  were  chaplain  heroes,  publicized  and  unknovvTi.  James  B. 
Murphy  wrote,  "The  Army  Chaplaincy  is  a  great  and  noble  work  in  spite 
of  the  failures  of  the  past.  There  are  great  and  unsung  men  in  our  history; 
and  that  is  the  way  they  would  want  to  remain."  ^^'  Ralph  E.  Chess,  later 
Chief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains,  said  the  strength  of  the  chaplaincy  was 
"Being  men  of  God  in  uniform  with  the  guts  to  speak  out  and  the  humility 
to  be  silent  as  the  situation  required."  And  the  weakness  of  the  chaplaincy 
was,  "Indorsing  agencies  furnishing  second  rate  clergy  for  a  difficult 
ministry."  ^^^ 

General  Brehon  Somervell,  who  commanded  The  Services  of  Supply 
under  which  the  chaplains  served,  wrote : 

"Living  and  working  with  the  troops,  the  chaplains  furnished  one 
of  the  greatest  morale  factors  in  the  war.  Before  battle  and  during  it,  the 
soldier  could  always  turn  to  the  chaplain  for  strength,  and  courage,  for 
the  chaplains  followed  the  troops  wherever  they  went.  .  .  .  The  wounded 
received  help  and  consolation  .  .  .  The  dead  were  buried  in  the  cloak  of 
their  faiths."  "' 

General  Eisenhower  said  of  chaplains,  "They  were  far  too  modest, 
far  too  much  like  shrinking  violets  and  were  normally  hiding  their  lights 
behind  trees  if  not  under  bushes."  He  referred  to  chaplains  who  failed 
to  explain  to  soldiers  why  they  were  in  the  war,  and  what  they  were 
fighting  for.  He  mentioned  Cromwell's  Army  "that  sang  hymns  while 
they  hewed  off  heads  with  a  sweep  of  their  sword."  Ike  wanted  more 
certainty  of  why  America  was  fighting  to  be  provided  by  chaplains  to 
the  Army.""  Christianity  in  Crisis  said,  "In  many  units  the  work  of  the 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 

192  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

chaplain  is  confined  to  poorly  attended  services  and  to  the  difficult  task 
of  offering  sympathy  to  men,  turned  over  to  him  by  other  officers,  whom 
he  is  powerless  to  help  with  more  than  sympathy."  ^®^  The  great  majority 
of  chaplains  came  directly  from  civilian  life,  and  reported  greater  attend- 
ance than  they  experienced  in  parishes. ^^^ 

Perhaps  more  important  than  opinions  about  chaplain  effectiveness 
are  some  facts.  The  letters  of  commendation  and  complaint  were  filed 
together  in  the  Chief  of  Chaplains  office.  For  every  letter  of  complaint — 
and  there  were  very  few — there  were  thirty  or  forty  of  praise.  Chaplains 
earned  2,453  decorations  during  World  War  11.^"^  Half  the  rabbis  in 
America  volunteered  for  the  chaplaincy;  422  received  indorsement,  311 
served,  2  were  killed  in  action,  2  wounded,  46  decorated  for  bravery.^®* 
The  Army  authorized  the  appointment  of  790  black  chaplains;  by  July 
1943,  247  were  on  active  duty,  100  overseas,  as  compared  to  a  total  of 
57  black  chaplains  in  World  War  I."^ 

Chaplains'  attitudes,  strengths,  and  fears  varied,  as  did  those  of  the 
persons  they  served.  One  chaplain  during  the  Battle  of  the  Bulge  had  a 
bad  cold.  He  kept  taking  his  temperature  in  the  hope  that  it  would  be 
high  enough  to  get  him  out  of  the  line.  He  complained  of  it  hanging  on 
and  on  in  a  letter  home.  His  sister  wrote  back  that  she  was  praying  that 
he  would  soon  be  better.  He  shot  back  a  letter,  "Dear  Maggie,  Mind  your 
own  damned  business.  I'm  praying  that  I'll  get  double  pneumonia  and 
they'll  let  me  out  of  this  cursed  place.  .  .  ."  ^^'^  Another  chaplain,  who 
was  killed  in  an  invasion  landing,  wrote  that  he  knew  he  would  be  afraid 
but,  "the  good  I  am  going  to  do  in  there  makes  me  courageous  for, 
'Courage  is  fear  that  has  said  its  prayers !'  "  ^^" 

In  World  War  I  there  were  2,500  chaplains,  220  of  whom  were  dis- 
missed for  unsuitability.  In  July  1943,  with  5,000  chaplains  serving,  only 
23  had  been  dismissed  for  unsuitability.^^^  Chaplain  Arnold  pointed  out 
in  an  interview  in  July  1942,  "We  haven't  had  a  chaplain  court-martialed 
in  fifteen  years  .  .  .  and  out  of  the  thousands  accepted  thus  far,  only 
fifteen  .  .   .  have  not  measured  up  and  have  returned  to  civilian  life."  ^^^ 

There  were  some  cases  of  chaplains  who  were  absent  without  official 
leave. ^°°  Chaplains  could  be  reassigned,  reprimanded,  court-martialed,  or 
boarded  out.  One  of  the  most  convenient  means  for  release  of  a  chaplain 
who  did  not  truly  represent  his  church  was  removal  of  ecclesiastical 
indorsement,  which  automatically  terminated  his  service.  The  over- 
whelming statistical  and  factual  evidence  points  to  the  fact  that  the 
chaplains  did  the  job  that  was  to  become  their  motto — "Bringing  God  to 
men,  and  men  to  God." 

See  footnotes  at  end  of  chapter. 



^Maurice  Matloff,  ed.,  American  Military  History,  (Washington,  D.C.:  Office  of  the  Chief 
of  Militar>-  History,  United  States  Army,  1 969 ) ,  p.  4 1 7. 

"Daniel  B.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  (Wash- 
ington, D.C.:  OfficeChief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains,  1961),  p.  91. 

^  Matloff,  American  Military  History,  p.  473-490. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  499-520. 

'Roy  J.  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  The  United  States  Army,  (Washington,  D.C.:  DA  Office 
of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  1958) ,  p.  230. 

«/fcid.,p.  231. 

'  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  97. 

'Ibid.,  p.  101. 

'Ibid.,  p.  120. 

^'' Ibid.,  p.  120. 

^' Ibid.,  p.  129. 

"^  William  C.  Taggart  and  Christopher  Cross,  My  Fighting  Congregation,  (Garden  City, 
New  York:  Doubleday,  Doran  &  Company,  Inc.,  1945),  p.  30. 

"  Percy  Hickcox,  Mine  Eyes  Have  Seen,  (Boston,  Massachusetts:  The  Mosher  Press,  1950), 
p.  31  32. 

"  Ralph  Waldo  Nelson,  Soldier,  You're  It!,   (New  York:  Association  Press,  1945),  p.  1. 

'^  Prayer  Proposed  For  Invasion  Day,  The  New  York  Times,  4  May  1942,  p.  42. 

"  Invasion  Plea  Written,  The  New  York  Times,  20  May  1944  p.  13  :  1. 

"  Prayer  For  Invasion  Is  Issued  to  Rabbis,  The  New  York  Times,  7  May  1944,  p.  61. 

"  Historical  Monograph,  21  March  1946  314.7  Files  of  the  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains, 
Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York,  p.  81-82. 

^' Ibid,  p.  82. 

^Jorgensen  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  127. 

^  I  bid.,  p.  127. 

^The  Army  Chaplain  in  the  European  Theatre,  File  322  01/4  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chap- 
lains, Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York  p.  74. 

^Yoder  P.  Leith,  questionnaire,  3  February  1975,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft  Wads- 
worth, SI,  New  York. 

"Lewis  H.  Grimes,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  26  December  1972. 

^Francis  A.  Cunningham,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  26  September  1974;  Milton  Crist, 
USACHCS  questionnaire. 

"'Leland  L.  Loy,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  26  November  1974. 

="  Earnest  Edward  Eells,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  19  November  1974. 

^  Clark  Lee,  Chaplain  Has  No  Gun  in  Battle  Many  Narrow  Escapes,  The  Army  and  Navy 
Chaplain,  Vol.  XIV,  No.  2,  October-November  1942,  p.  26  27. 

"'James  Patrick  Galvin,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  27  September  1974. 

^°  Edward  George  Finnerty,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  1  October  1974. 

^^  John  Thomas  Byrne,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  25  September  1974. 

^^  Barrington  Man  Tells  About  Campaign  from  Oran  to  Tunis,  The  Providence  Sunday  Jour- 
nal, 22  August  1943,  Section  VI,  p.  1. 

"The  History  of  the  Chaplain's  Section,  XVIII  Airborne  Corps,  19  December  1944,  p.  12 
RG  247,  Box  214,  The  National  Archives,  Washington  D.C. 

"*  Ibid,  p.  4-8. 

^  Ibid. 

^'History  of  Chaplains  Activities  on  Ascension  Island,  314.7  Organizational  History,  files  of 
office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  Record  Group  247,  Box  214,  The  National  Archives,  Washington, 

^^  History  of  the  Chaplain's  Section,  XVIII  Airborne  Corps,  19  December  1944,  p.  12  RG 
247,  Box  214. 

^^Dan  T.  Caldwell  and  B.  L.  Bowman,  They  Answered  the  Call,  (Richmond,  Virginia:  John 
Knox  Press,  1952) ,  p.  43  44. 

194  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

^'  Albert  J.  Hoffman  USACHCS  questionnaire. 

''"Jack  Alexander,  He's  Our  Guy,  Saturday  Evening  Post,  Vol.  CCXVII,  28  April  1945,  p. 
9-11,53  56,58. 

"  Michael  B.  Kauffman,  interview  January  1976,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

"  US  Army  Chaplain  Corps,  American  Chaplains  of  the  Fifth  Army,  (Milan,  Italy:  Printed 
by  Pizzi  and  Pizzio,  1945),  p.  47. 

''Milton  O.  Beebe,  HQ  MTOUSA,  19  December  1944,  letter,  files  of  Office  Of  The  Chief 
Of  Chaplains,  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^  US  Army  Chaplain  Corps,  American  Chaplains  of  the  Fifth  Army,  p.  47. 

*^  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Faith,  The  Priest  Goes  to  War,  (New  York:  The  Society 
for  the  Propagation  of  the  Faith,  1946)  p.  preface. 

■■^  Louis  J.  "QdiTish,  Rabbis  In  Uniform  (New  York:  Jonathan  David :  Publishers,  1962),  p.  14. 

■•^  Operational  History,  Chaplain's  Section  Seventh  Army,  March  1944,  Record  Group  247, 
Box  214,  The  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

^  David  Max  Eichorn,  questionnaire,  16  October  1974. 

"  Richard  T.  Maker,  For  God  and  Country:  Mormon  Chaplains  During  World  War  II,  A 
thesis  presented  to  the  Department  of  History,  Brigham  Young  University,  15  July  1975,  p.  78. 

^  Caldwell  and  Bowman  They  Answered  The  Call,  p.  48-49. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  39-40. 

^^  Francis  L.  Sampson,  Look  out  Below!,  (Washington,  D.C:  The  Catholic  University  of 
America  Press,  1958),  p.  62  67,  108-129. 

"Robert  L.  Schock,  History  of  the  Chaplain  Section  XVIII  Corps  (Airborne)  16  September 
1944,  p.  2,  Record  Group  247,  Box  214,  The  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

"John  William  Handy,  Jr.,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  24  October  1973.  1973. 

'^^  General  Order  82,  15  August  1944,  HQ  29th  Infantry  Division,  Award  of  the  Silver  Star, 
files  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^  Schock,  History  of  the  Chaplain  Section  XVIII  Corps  (Airborne),  p.  7. 

"  Charles  Victor  McSween,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  25  November  1974. 

''James  H.  O'Neill,  The  True  Story  of  the  Patton  Prayer,  (Washington,  D.C.  US  Gov- 
ernment Printing  Office,  1950),  p.  1. 

'"Ibid.,  p.  1. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  2. 

'^  Ibid.,  p.  9. 

*°  Frederick  E.  Kirker,  Chaplains  In  the  Jungle,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  July-August 
1944,  Volume  XV,  No.  1,  p.  9. 

**  Alfred  Werner,  Overseas  Chaplain  in  Action,  National  Jewish  Monthly,  April  1943,  Vol- 
ume 57,  No.  8,  p.  260. 

'^  Ibid.,  p.  258-259. 

*^  Jewish  Chaplains  on  Land  and  Sea,  Opinion:  A  Journal  of  Jewish  Life  and  Letters,  July 
1943,  Vol.  XIII,  No.  9,  p.  7. 

•^  Ibid. 

"'  History  of  Chaplains  Activities  on  Ascension  Island,  Record  Group  247  Box  214  p.  2,  3,  The 
National  .Archives,  Washington  D.C. 

^History  of  Chaplains  Activities  in  the  Pacific,  "Work  among  colored  Troops",  p.  396. 

°*  Tenth  Air  Force  Chaplaincy,  10  September  1943,  p.  10,  Record  Group  247,  Box  214,  The 
National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C 

''I bid.,  p.  2-3. 

''^General  Orders  Number  58,  Headquarters  Fifth  Air  Force,  31  December  1942,  Award  of 
the  Silver  Star  to  William  C.  Taggart,  files  OCCH.  Also  see  Taggart's  book.  My  Fighting  Con- 

''-  Henry  Pitt  Van  Dusen,  The  Church  Was  Already  There,  Saturday  Evening  Post,  7  April 
1945,Vol.  217,No.  41,p.  68. 

"  Ibid. 

'*  Leon  Wendell  Hawley,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  25  November  1974. 

'■'■  Malcolm  D.  Hooker,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  23  October  1974. 

"'  Harold  Theodore  Grabau,  questionnaire,  5  November  1974. 

'^  Mert  Melvin  Lampson,  questionnaire,  16  October  1974. 

"'Patrick  James  Ryan  questionnaire,  12  December  1974,  (served  as  Chief  of  Chaplains  from 
May  1954  to  November  1958) . 


™  Edwin  Lankford  Kirtley,  questionnaire,  31  January  1975. 

*"  John  Michael  Brew  questionnaire,  4  October  1974. 

*^  L.R.  Gabrielsen,  Personal  Narrative  on  Kwajalein  operations,  files:  Historical  Office, 
USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^Report,  Activities  of  Chaplains,  7th  Infantry  Division,  Kwajalein  Operation,  p.  14  files. 
Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^United  States  Army  Forces  in  the  Far  East,  General  Order  Number  123,  21  May  1945; 
Headquarters  37th  Infantry  Division,  General  Order  Number  186,  20  July  1945;  Also  General 
Order  Number  174,  25  July  1944,  files.  Historical  Office,  USACHCS,  Ft.  Wadsworth,  SI,  New 

®*  Kenneth  William  Fristoe,  questionnaire,  8  June  1975. 

^  The  Story  of  Christian  Science  Wartime  Activities  1939-46,  p.  175-176. 

^  Tenth  Air  Force  Chaplaincy  Historical  Report,  p.  1,  Record  Group  247,  Box  214,  The 
National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

*'  History  of  Chaplains  Activities  in  the  Pacific,  p.  420. 

«'7fczW.,  p.  401. 

*  Sperry,  Religion  of  Soldier  and  Sailor,  p.  8. 

®°  Barish,  Rabbis  in  Uniform  p.  19. 

*^  J.M.  Bradberry,  questionnaire,  26  November  1974. 

°"  The  Military  Chaplaincy,  A  Report  to  the  President,  p.  14. 

^^The  Story  of  Christian  Science  Wartime  Activities  1939-46,  (Boston,  Massachusetts:  The 
Christian  Science  Publishing  Society,  1947)  p.  182. 

°*  History  of  the  Chaplains'  Section  744th  Railway  Operating  Battalion,  9  November  1944, 
RG  247,  Box  214  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

''Hq  5th  Infantry,  Office  of  the  Chaplain,  20  November  1944,  RG  247,  Box  214,  National 
Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

*'The  Presidents'  Committee  on  Religion  and  Welfare  in  the  Armed  Forces,  The  Military 
Chaplaincy;  A  Report  to  the  President,  1  October  1950,  Washington,  D.C,  1951. 

"^  Gerald  Rabe,  The  Chaplain  Faces  the  Front,  Christian  Family  and  our  Missions,  March 
1945,  Volume  XL,  p.  87. 

*^  Frederick  C.  Proehl,  Marching  Side  by  Side,  (St.  Louis:  Concordia  Publishing  House, 
1945),  p.  66. 

**  American  Chaplains  of  the  Fifth  Army,  p.  15. 

^°°  John  Robert  Himes,  questionnaire,  22  October  1974. 

^°^  Maker,  For  God  and  Country:  Mormon  Chaplains  during  World  War  II,  p.  43. 

^°°  US  Japanese  Chaplain,  Hawaii's  First,  Joins  Up,  New  York  Times,  10  June  1943,  p.  56. 

"^General  Order  Number  67,  Headquarters  Third  Air  Division,  19  January  1945,  Award  of 
the  Soldiers  Medal  to  Chaplain  (Captain)  William  J.  Zink,  files:  History  Office,  USACHCS  Ft. 
Wadsworth,  SI,  New  York. 

^"^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  281. 

^''^  Ibid.,  p.  282. 

"'  Ibid.,  p.  282. 

^^^  Albert  R.H.  Miller,  With  German  POW's,  Advance,  Vol.  CXXXVIII,  February  1945, 
p.  24-25. 

"^  John  William  Handy,  Jr.,  questionnaire. 

^'^  Hiro  Higuchi,  questionnaire,  17  October  1974. 

""John  Ogden  Fisher,  questionnaire,  1  October  1974. 

"^  Arthur  John  Doege,  questionnaire,  16  October  1974. 

^History  of  Seventh  Army  Chaplain  Section,  1  March  1945,  Record  Groups  247,  Box  214, 
The  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 

"^  Edward  L.  R.  Elson,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  19  December  1974. 

"*  Ibid. 

^^  William  Bradford  Huie,  The  Execution  of  Private  Slovik,  (New  York:  Delacorte  Press, 
1970),  p.  197. 

^'Richard  Whittingham,  Martial  Justice,  (Chicago:  Henry  Regency  Company,  1971),  p. 

"^  Saved  by  a  Bible,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  July-August  1943,  Vol.  XIV,  No.  1,  p.  23. 

"^  Caldwell  and  Bowman,  They  Answered  the  Call,  p.  67-68. 

196  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

"°Ivan  H.  Northdurft,  American  Bible  Society  Historical  Essay  No.  14,  Par  VIII,  Distribu- 
tion in  the  USA,  1931-66,  p.  156,  American  Bible  Society  Library,  New  York.  Also;  Clyde  H. 
Dennis,  Rickenbacker's  Epic  of  the  Sea,  Ten  Thrilling  Stories  from  the  World's  Battlejronts, 
(Chicago:  Good  News  Publishing  Co.,  1943),  p.  10-11,  and  Eddie  Rickenbacker  21  Days  Adrift 
in  Pacific,  Life,  25  January,  1943. 

^°  Ibid,  American  Bible  Society  Historical  Essay,  p.  156. 

"^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  256-257. 

^-  Ibid.,  p.  258,  and  Marjorie  L.  Miller,  War  Service  of  the  American  Bible  Society  1940- 
1948,  Essay  No.  15,  VII-B,  January  1967,  p.  5  American  Bible  Society  Library,  New  York,  also 
Essay  No.  14  p.  151-184. 

^®  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  259. 

"^  Ibid.,  p.  255-256. 

^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  89. 

^Francis  Joseph  Spellman,  Action  This  Day,  (New  York:  Scribners  Sons,  1943). 

^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  92. 

^^  Spellman,  Action  This  Day,  p.  73. 

"°  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  237. 

""  Ibid.,  p.  237-238. 

"^  History  of  Chaplains  Activities  In  the  Pacific,  p.  462-3 

^^  Philip  D.  Bernstein,  Opinion,  p.  6. 

"' Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  92. 

"*  Ibid.,  p.  93. 

^^  George  Gershon  Korsen,  At  His  Side,  The  Story  of  the  American  Red  Cross  Overseas  in 
World  War  II,  (New  York:  Coward-McCann,  Inc.,  1945). 

""  Ibid.,  p.  4,  300. 

"' Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  71  and  259. 

^"^  Ibid.,  215,  269. 

"'  Ibid.,  p.  207. 

""  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  238-242. 

^"  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  142-143. 

"=  Kenneth  Lyndle  Ames,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  2  December  1974. 

"^^^  Kenneth  A.  ConneUy,  Jr.,  Chaplain's  Assistant,  (Seattle:  The  Craftsmen  Press,  1945),  p.  3. 

'"  Ibid.,  p.  44. 

^^  Lee,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  p.  27. 

"*  See  Chapter  III,  "Combat  Comes  to  the  Chaplains." 

"^History  of  the  Chaplain  Section,  XVIII  Corps  (Airborne),  6  April  1945;  Record  Group 
247,  Box  214,  National  Archives. 

^^®  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  144. 

"'  Daisy  Armoury,  Father  Cyclone,  (New  York:  Julian  Messner  Inc.,  1958)  ;  James  D.  Book, 
Tell  it  to  the  Chaplain,  Churchman,  Vol.  CLVI,  15  September  1942,  p.  19;  Kenneth  A.  Con- 
nelly, Chaplain's  Assistant,  (Seattle:  The  Craftsman  Press,  1945)  ;  B.H.  Darr's,  Specialist  (W), 
Christian  Advocate  (Chicago),  CXIX,  16  March  1944,  p.  316-17. 

^^^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  145. 

^^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  The  United  States  Army,  p.  257. 

^^^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  278. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  279. 

'"  Ibid.,  p.  285. 

'^  Ibid.,  p.  286. 

""  Headquarters  Army  Service  Forces,  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  Circular  Letter  No. 
292,  1  January  1945,  p.  1. 

^"^  Circular  Letter  No.  296,  1  May  1945,  p.  1. 

^^  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain  Salutes  the  New  Chiefs,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain, 
July-August  1945,  Vol.  XVI,  No.  1.,  p.  20. 

'^^'' Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  151. 

""Songs  of  the  Two  Chaplain  Corps,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  July-August,  1945, 
Vol.  XVI,  No.  1,  p.  26. 

^"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  277. 


""History  of  the  Chaplain  Section  XVIII  Corps  (Airborne)  13  December  1945,  Record 
Group,  247,  Box  214,  The  National  Archives. 

"^  Judah  Nadich,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  1  January  1975,  also  his  book,  Eisenhower  and 
the  Jews,  (New  York:  Twayne,  1953). 

"*  Barish,  Rabbis  In  Uniform,  p.  36. 

^•"/fc/J.^p.  38-42. 

'^  Ibid.,  p.  42-46. 

"■  Ibid.,  p.  58. 

^^  Ibid.,  p.  72-73. 

'"'  OCCH  Circular  Letter  No.  302,  p.  4. 

'""  OCCH  Circular  Letter  No.  300,  p.  4. 

^""■Beaten  By  Japs,  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain,  April-May  1945,  Vol.  XV,  No.  4,  p.  1, 
and,  Alfred  C.  Oliver,  Jr.  ".  .  .  But  I  Didn't  Lose  God",  The  Army  and  Navy  Chaplain  Julv- 
August  1945,  Vol.  XV,  No.  5,  p.  4. 

^'"  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  The  United  States  Army,  p.  274. 

^■^  Jacob  St.  Clair  Bousum,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  3  November  1974. 

^'*  Barish,  Rabbis  In  Uniform,  p.  18. 

^~°  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  180. 

'''Ibid.,  p.  116. 

'"  Ibid.,p.  111. 

'''Ibid.,  p.  277. 

'''Ibid.,  p.  164. 

'^'^  Ibid.,  p.  164. 

'''Ibid.,  p.  165. 

"'  The  Chaplain  Serves  (Washington,  D.C. :  Office  of  Chaplains,  1944) . 

^"Jorgensen,  The  Se-rvice  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  282. 

'^  Ibid.,  p.  278. 

"^  Ibid.,  p.  134. 

"'Ibid.,  p.  133. 

^^  James  Bernard  Murphy,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  25  September  1974. 

"^  Ralph  E.  Chess,  USACHCS  questionnaire,  13  September  1974. 

''*^  The  Presidents  Committee  on  Religion  and  Welfare  in  the  Armed  Forces,  The  Military 
Chaplaincy,  a  report  to  the  President,  1  October  1950,  (Washington:  GPO  1951),  p.  13. 

''^  The  Washington  Post,  1  May  1954. 

''■"  Christianity  in  Crisis,  July,  1945,  Vol.  V,  No.  3,  p.  10. 

"^Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  281. 

^^^  Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army,  p.  294.  The  Military  Chaplaincy;  a 
report  to  the  President,  p.  8,  places  the  number  at  2,395. 

^°*  Barish,  Rabbis  In  Uniform,  p.  20,  and  Jewish  Chaplains  on  Land  and  Sea,  Opinion,  July 
1943,Vol.  XIII,  No.  9,  p.  6. 

^■^  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  136. 

'^  Connelly,  Chaplain's  Assistant,  p.  68. 

'^'  Society  for  the  Propogation  of  the  Faith,  The  Priest  Goes  to  War.  New  York:  The  Society 
for  the  Propogation  of  the  Faith,  1946. 

""  OCCH  Circular  Letter,  No.  287,  1  August  1944,  p.  1. 

^^^  Clarence  Hall,  God's  Soldiers,  The  Christian  Advocate,  2  July  1942,  reprinted  and  pre- 
sented to  the  OCCH. 

"""  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplain  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  p.  128. 

246-684   O  -  78  -  14 


Ralph  McCaskill  became  a  chaplain  in  1934,  the  "Dark  Days  of 
Ardent  Pacifism,"  when  an  officer  and  enlisted  man  were  all  but  ostra- 
cised from  civilian  communities.  It  was  a  time  when,  as  General  Hagood 
said,  "It  is  difficult  to  secure  funds  for  the  regular  Army  to  purchase  even 
a  five-cent  lead  pencil."  When  he  reported  for  duty  at  Fort  Screven, 
Georgia,  no  chaplain  had  been  assigned  to  the  post  for  seven  years.  There 
was  no  chapel,  and  no  quarters  for  him.  When  an  old  CCC  barracks 
became  empty  McCaskill  literally  ran  to  the  colonel's  office  to  put  in  a 
request  for  the  building.  He  was  minutes  ahead  of  two  captains  who 
wanted  the  same  structure.  The  chaplain  won  the  building  and  asked  the 
Post  Exchange  Council  for  two  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  to  make  it  into  a 
chapel.  The  Council  said  it  couldn't  be  done,  but  he  did  it — with  $17,50 
left  over.  The  Council  voted  that  amount  to  be  spent  for  a  pulpit  Bible. ^ 

Henry  P.  Mobley  began  the  war  as  an  aviation  cadet  in  1944.  At  the 
suggestion  of  his  commanding  officer  he  started  proceedings  to  transfer 
to  the  chaplaincy.  The  transfer  came  through  and  the  cross  and  bar  were 
pinned  on  at  a  special  formation  before  his  fellow  cadets.  The  Comman- 
dant of  Cadets  at  Harlingen  said  in  a  speech  at  the  ceremony,  "This  is  a 
proud  moment  for  me.  The  bar  of  the  First  Lieutenant  is  as  nothing,  but 
I  thank  God  for  the  privilege  of  placing  for  the  first  time  on  the  collar  of 
this  young  man  the  Cross  of  Christ,  symbol — even  in  time  of  hatred — of 
love  and  mercy !"  ^ 

These  two  experiences  epitomized  the  nature  of  the  chaplaincy 
between  1920  and  1945.  From  the  end  of  World  War  I  to  the  end  of 
World  War  II  the  chaplaincy,  and  the  institution  in  which  it  was  placed, 
changed  drastically.  So,  too  did  the  esteem  in  which  chaplains  were  held. 
In  World  War  I  they  were  often  called  "Holy  Joes."  The  nickname  in  the 
Second  World  War  was  more  likely  to  be  "Chappie."  The  change  partly 
reflected  consciousness  of  a  wider  role.  As  it  survived  hard  times,  the 
chaplaincy  matured  into  its  greatest  period  of  service;  a  time  when  the 
nation  provided  the  money,  manpower,  chapels,  equipment,  transporta- 
tion, and  training  it  withheld  for  so  long.  The  experience  of  McCaskill 
and  Mobley  starkly  contrasted  the  times  in  which  they  served.  It  took  a 

See  notes  at  end  of  epilogue. 



worldwide  conflict  to  bring  it  about,  but  a  nation  in  a  jam  invested  in 
the  chaplaincy.  The  nation  got  its  money's  worth.  General  Marshall 
said  "Military  power  wins  battles,  but  spiritual  power  wins  wars."  ''  In 
the  war  of  the  spirit  the  "Soldiers  of  God,"  the  US  Army  Chaplains, 
ministered  to  the  largest  Army  in  American  history,  and  with  them,  won 
the  war. 

Epilogue  Footnotes 

^  Dan  T.  Caldwell  and  B.L.  Bowman,  They  Answered  The  Call,  (Richmond,  Virginia:  John 
Knox  Press,  1952),  p.  64. 

-  Ibid.,  p.  69. 

^Daniel  B.  Jorgensen,  The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946,  (Washing- 
ton, D.C. :  Office  Chief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains,  1961),  p.  277. 



Aid  station 148, 151 

Altar 114 

Alienation  from  churches 6,  56 

American  Bible  Society 169 

American  Indians 60 

American  Red  Cross 23, 125,  175 

Annual  reports  of  the  Chief.  .  .    77,24,  76,  187 

Arcadia  conference 117 

Arlington  National  Cemetery 10,  41 

Army  Air  Corps 3,4,111,  143,  177 

The  Army  And  Navy  Chaplain 75,  169 

The  Army  Chaplain 12, 55 

Army  Chaplain's  Association 12 

Army  Regulations 15,  18,  21,40 

Army  strength 33 

Arsenal  of  democracy 92 

Assistants 12,38,175 

Athletics 22 

Attack  on  Shanghai  1932 49 

Attendance  at  Services 24 ,  36 

Attu 160 

Audio-visuals 65,  80 

Baptisms 1 20 

Bastogne 116 

Bataan 119 

Bibles 168 

Blacks 42,  68,  100, 158 

Blood  donors 1 75 

B'nai  Brith 129 

Bougainville 142 

Burials 182 

Cabanatuan 1 19, 120 

Camp  Grant 18 

Camp  Knox 18 

Casualties  among  chaplains 141, 215 

Cenotaph 41,85 

Chapels 39,71 

attendance 24, 36 

cantonement    (mobilization,    regi- 
mental)     87,  88,89,  114 

construction 71,113 

cost 72,115 

overseas 115 

Chaplains 5 

conferences 32 , 1 20 , 1 85 

legislation  affecting 12,32,  34, 1 13 


Chaplains— Continued 

numbers 96 

opposition  to 52 

as  prisoners 151 ,  166 

promotions 6,  57 

qualifications 13, 14, 15,98 

ratio  to  military  strength 33 

Aid  Association 70 

assistants 12,38, 175 

citations 40 

flag 22,38 

manual 12,22,112 

March  (see  "Soldiers  of  God").  .  .        181 

pool 122 

Character  building  lecture 1 1 ,  38 

Character  Guidance 11,  122 

Chief  of  Chaplains 6,8,62,99,104 

Chief  of  Staff 58, 186 

China — Burma — India  theatre 118, 162 

Christian  Century 27, 55 

Christian  Endeavor 9,  1 75 

Christian  Herald 128 

Christian  Science 105,  162 

Christianity  In  Crisis 94 

Christmas 155 

Church  parade 79 

Circuit  rider 61,  190 

Citizens  Military  Training  Camps ....      4,  35 

Civilian  clergymen 105 

assistance  of 63,  96 

visitation 173,  178 

Civilian  Conservation  Corps 9,  58 

Chaplains  of 58 

Director 60 

Problems  of 68 

Thoughts  of  men  in 67 

Communion 116 

Conference    on    moral    and    religious 

work 12,32 

Conscientious  objectors 177 

Corregidor 119 

Correspondence 20,  122,  158 

Counseling 38,  122,  126,  132 

Demobilization 3,  7 

Denmark 92 

Denominational  quotas  and  balance.  .  208 

Department  of  Agriculture 59 




Depression,  the  great 49,  58 

Deputy  Chief  of  Chaplains 180 

Devotional  literature 40,  172 

Disaster  relief 70 

Distinguished  Service  Cross.  ...    119,  129,  154 
Dorchester,  S.S 127 

Ecumenism 19 

Education 24,  25 

England 1 65 

Epilogue 198 

Equipment 38,  39 

European  theatre 5 

Evaluation 43,  80,  185 

Expansion  of  corps 80,  99 

Extra  duties 22 

Federal  Council  of  Churches ...    15,  28,  55,  98 

Films,  training 109 

Flag  chaplains' 22,  38 

Floods 69,  70 

FortDevens 109 

Fort  Benjamin  Harrison 108 

Fort  Leavenworth 12,  18,  167 

Fort  Oglethorpe 12,  1 10 

Four  chaplains 90,  1 27 

France 5,41,  94,  142,  164 

Gallup  poll 57,93 

General  Committee  on  Chaplains.  .    15,  54,  98 
General  Commission  on  Chaplains.    44,  86,  97 

Germany 3,  141 

Gideon  Society 171 

Graduate  study 119 

Graduation  of  the  Chaplain  School.  .    10,  110 

Great  Britain 91 

Guadalcanal 1 17,  142 

Harvard  University 108,  165 

Hirohito,  Emperor 165 

Hitler,  Adolf 50,  79,  93 

Holland 92 

Holy  Name  Society 1 75 

Hospital  chaplain 103 

Hymnbook 12,  172 

Indorsing  agencies 96,  191 

Insignia 28 

Invasion  of  Poland 91 

Invasion  prayers 147 

Ireland 118,  164 

Isolationism 50,  91,  95,  101 

Japanese 2,  49,  92,  1 19,  165 

Jewish  Welfare  Board 15,  97,  1 70,  1 74 

Jews 64,  94,  95,  153 

King  James  Version 169 

Kiska 161,  162 

League  of  Nations 

Lectures  of  chaplains. . . 
Lend  Lease  Act  of  1941 

Life  Raft  Packet 








Marriage 123 

Mass 173,  183,185 

Medal,  for  heroism,  special 1 29 

Mediterranean  theatre 142,  153 

Memorials  of  WW  I 40 

Mexican  border 3 

Military  Chaplains'  Association 12 

Military  Ordinariate 15,  97 

Minorities 42,  60,  68,  96,  100 

Missonary  outreach 150,  159,  164,  165 

Moral  Re-Armament 50 

Morale 76,  185 

Mussolini,  Benito 50,  102 

National  Army ^^ 

National  Defense  Act 4,  19 

National  Guard 3,  4,  13,  107 

Natural  disasters 69 

Neutrality  Act 9^ 

New  Deal ^^ 

New  Georgia ^  ^" 

New  Guinea 133,142,158,182 

Newark  conference ^4 

Newspapers 53,  54 

North  .Africa 142,  180 

Norway ^^ 

Occupation ^ 

Officers'  Reserve  Corps 4,  14 

"One  Solitary  Life" 172 

Organization 5,  72,  142 

Pacific  theatre 142,148,159 

Pacifism 14,  27,  50,  51,  57,  68,  95 

Page  Army ^^ 

Paratroopers '  ^  ■^ 

Passover  Seder  services 162, 185 

Pastoral  acts 207,  218 

Patriotic  and  Special  days 10,  114,  185 

Peacetime  mobilization "0 

Pearl  Harbor 42,  92 

Philippines 4,  H 

Post  exchange 24,124,198 

Prayers 1  ^^ 

Prisoners  of  war 1"" 

American 1 1^ 

Germans 116,  167 

Italian 150,151 

Japanese 1"° 

Promotions 6,  57,  181 

1  99 
Public  relations '  •'^ 


THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 


Radio  broadcasts 77,  78 

Recreation 125 

Reduction  in  force 57 

Regular  Army 3,  4 

Religious  literature 40 

Religious  tolerance 9, 124,  126 

Reports , 21,22,  64,73 

Reserves '.^ 4, 13,96 

Revival 163 

Rome 1 53 

"Roosevelt's  Tree  Army" 60 

Sacraments 116,120,  123, 173, 183,  ia5 

Selective  Service 92,  96 

Sex  morality  lectures 23 

Servicemen's  Christian  League 175 

Soil  erosion 59 

"Soldiers    of    God"    (see    "Chaplains' 

March") 181 

Soviet  Union 117 

Statistical  Reports 24,  76,  77,  187 

Supplies 38,71,  168,172 

Tientsin,  China 3 

Thanksgiving 1 85 


additional 16,  19,107,111,  112 

maneuvers 91 

manual 12,22 

Transportation 189,  190 

Transports 126 

Tri-C 65 

United  Services  Organization 125, 135 

Unknown  Soldier 10 

USS  Kearny 101 

USS  Reuben  James 101 

Veneral  disease 23,  122 

Visits  by  the  Chief 62 

by  clergy 173 

Womens'  Army  Corps 101,  1 1 1 

Womens'         Christian         Temperance 

Union 78 

Works  Projects  Administration 71 

World  War  I 2 

Militarism 27,52 

Veterans 60 



Acheson,  Dean 57,  102 

Adler,  Cyrus 97 

Ainslee,  Peter 53 

Allenby,  Hubert  A 110 

Ames,  Kenneth  L 116, 176 

Arnold,  F.  R 70 

Arnold,  William  R.  .    61 ,74,  87, 125,  171,  180 

Axton,  John  T 8 

Axton,  John  T.,  Jr 10 

Baker,  Newton  D 54 

Bartek,  Johnny 169 

Baublitz,  E.  R 60 

Beebe,  Milton  O 78,  153 

Beglum,  Gerhard  L 116 

Bennett,  Ivan  L 77,  192 

Benninghoff,  Howard 1 26 

Bermingham,  Thomas  P 71 

Bernstein,  Phillip  S 1 74 

Berrett,  Lyman  C 165 

Bigcow,  Mike 77 

Biggs,  E.  Power 109 

Blakeney,  James  L 1 1 6,  1 34 

Blanchard,  Harry  M 78 

Bodies,  J.  H.  August 78 

Borneman,  John  K 119 

Bousum,  Jacob  S 185 

Bowdern,  William  S 128 

Bradbury,  J.  M 163 

Branham,  Edward  L 22,  23,  77 

Brasted,  Alva  J 25,  55,  58,  60,  74,  172 

Braunstein,  Richard 66 

Brent,  Charles  H 5 

Brees,  H.J 107 

Brew,  John  M 161 

Bricker,  Barnett 1 74 

Brody,  Arthur 183 

Brown,  Charles  L 152,  153 

Brown,  Ralph  W 119 

Brundich,  William 124 

Burgett,  Donald  R 113 

Burling,  Edwin 78 

Byrd,  William  B 151 

Byrne,  John  T 150 

Campbell,  Eugene  E 154 

Carpenter,  Charles  1 56,  143,  175,  179 

Carter,  Louis  C 58 


Capron,  William  E 152,  158 

Chapman,  Robert  B 124 

Chase,  Richard  H 151 

Churchill,  Winston  S 109,  1 1 7,  1 73 

Cleary,  William  D 107,  108,  180 

Coe,  Joseph 119 

Connelly,  Kenneth  A.  Jr 1 76 

Connelley,  Matthew  J 151 

Coolidge,  Calvin 34 

Covell,  D.  R 70 

Cox,  Vincent  A 158 

Crain,  George 151 

Creeger,  Marion 1 35,  1 72 

Cummings,  Carl  P 167 

Cunningham,  Francis  A 149 

Daib,  Walter 164 

Daniel,  Eugene  L 154 

Davis,  James  E 120 

Dean,  John  M 63 

Diebert,  Ralph  C 108 

Depkiewicz,  John  F 185 

De  Veaux,  John  A 1 74 

Dicker,  Herman 183 

Doege,  Arthur  J 169 

Dubra,  Charles  H 158 

Dudley,  Harold  M 65 

Duffy,  Francis  P 41 

Dulles,  John  F 93 

Easterbrook,  Edmund  P 6,  1 1,  25 

Eells,  Calvin  E 149 

Eells,  David 149 

Eells,  Earnest  E 149 

Eichorn,  David  M 130,  154,  183 

Eisenhower,  Dwight  D 14,  130 

Elson,  Edward  L.  R 1 18,  167 

Everson,  William  G 79 

Fealey,  Ignatius 79 

Feffer,  Abraham 184 

Fechner,  Robert 60 

Finnegan,  Terence  P 61,  102 

Finnerty,  Edward  G 150 

Fisher,  John  O 126,  166 

Fisher,  Orville  E 26 

Fitzgerald,  Edward  R 116 



THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 


Foran,  Howard 117 

Ford,  Clarence 164 

Ford,  George  B 16,  17 

Fosdick,  Harry  E 93 

Foster,  Thomas  E 124 

Fox,  George  L 128 

Frazer,  Harry  C 20 

Fristoe,  Kenneth  W 116,  161 

Gabrielson,  Tom  K 161 

Gallagher,  Robert  W 149 

Galvin,  James  P 150 

Gardiner,  Harold 93 

Gaskins,  Steve  P.,  Jr 123 

Geigerich,  Paul 62 

Gilmore,  Joseph  A 153 

Goldman,  Meyer  G 183 

Golish,  Clarence  F 164 

Goode,  Alexander  D 128,  153 

Goody,  Henry 153 

Goodyear,  A.  S 10,  99 

Gordon,  Albert  A 162 

Gorrelick,  Benjamin 183 

Graeser,  Charles  F 39,  72,  133 

Gravs,  William  S 3 

Gregg,  John  A 1 73 

Gregory,  Edmund  B 114 

Griesemer,  Thomas 100 

Griffith,  E.J 78 

Grimes,  Lewis  H 148 

Guennette,  Alfred  J 113 

Hale,  Wallace 182 

Hall,  Raymond  S 1 12,  155 

Handy,  John  W.,  Jr 155,  166 

Harding,  Warren  G 26 

Harkins,  Paul  D 156 

Hawley,  Leon  W 159 

Hayes,  Thomas  E 151 

Hayne,  Orlando  V 166 

Head,  Hal  C 78 

Heindle,  Elmer  W 161 

Hennon,  Robert  M 151 

Hertzog,  Lawrence 165 

Heuer,  Herman  H 128 

Hickcox,  Percy 122,  146 

Himes,  John  R 116,  118,  165 

Hoffman,  Albert  J 152,  166 

Hooker,  Malcolm  D 159 

Hopkins,  Harry 71 

Horowitz,  Samuel 153 

Hull,  Cordell 101 

Hymans,  Ario  S 163 

Hyde,  G.  F 70 

Jacobson,  Solomon 63 

Jaeger,  Vernon  P 1 26 

Jones,  C.  Q 70 

Jones,  Emmett  G 126 


Jones,  N.  A 79 

Jones,  Nathaniel  L 78 

Jordan,  Furman  E 116 

Jorgensen,  Einor 161 

Katt,  Alvin 103 

Kauffman,  Michael  B 152 

Kenna,  Alpha  H 110 

Kennedy,  Joseph  P 93 

Kennedy,  Kenson 162 

Kimmell,  Husband  E 102 

King,  William  F 149,  176 

Kirker,  Frederick  E 157 

Kirtley,  Edwin  L 160 

Klein,  Isaac 183 

Kohlstedt,  Evelyn 170 

La  Fleur,  Joseph  V 119 

Lampson,  Mert  M 160 

Langford,  Lloyd  E 167 

Leith,  Yoder  P 148 

Leonard,  Adna  W 98,  173 

Lev,  Aryeh 97,131 

Lindbergh,  Charles  A 57 

Liston,  James  M 1 30 

Lorge,  Ernest 184 

Loy,  Leland  L 149 

Mac  Arthur,  Douglas 59,  130,  185 

Manning,  William  T 147 

Marshall,  George  C 61, 

91,  105,  115,  117,  131 

Martin,  Robert  A 123 

Marx,  Leo 145 

Mattson,  Edward  J Ill 

Matternowski,  Ignatius 151 

Mc  Caskill,  Ralph 198 

Mc  Farland,  Charles  S 33,37 

Mc  Gee,  Tilden  S 155 

Mc  Knight,  A.  L 70 

Mc  Murray,  George 72 

Mc  Sweeney,  Charles  V 156 

Melton,  Roger  P 169 

Merchant,  Myland  D 108 

Milburn,  Frank  W 167 

Miller,  Albert  R.  H 166 

Miller,  Carl 183 

Miller,  Frank  L 72,  1 73 

Miller,  Luther  D 107,  180 

Mitchell,  R.  Bland 105 

Mobley,  Henry  P 198 

Monahan,  John  F 114 

Moody,  Paul  D 5, 98,  106,  163 

Moore,  Wright  T 110 

Morrison,  Charles  C 27 

MuUaly,  William  F 162 

Mundy,  Wilfred  A 63 

Murphy,  James  D 191 




Nadich,  Judah 183 

Nimitz,  Chester  W 163 

Nelson,  C.  C 78 

Nelson,  Ralph  W 146 

O'Brien,  Walter 121 

O'Daugherty,  Eugene  O 164 

O'Hara,  John  F 97 

Oliver,  Alfred  C 119,  120,  184 

O'Neil,  James  H 156 

Oxnan,  G.  Bromley 1 74 

Page,  Herman  Riddle 108 

Page,  Kirby 54 

Paperman,  Aaron 153,  185 

Parker,  Roy 77 

Patton,  George  S 156 

Patyon,  Jacob  S 125 

Perdue,  M.  M.  D 71 

Pershing,  John  J 4 

Phillips,  Hudson  B 78 

Pierce,  Jason  N 41,53 

PiusXH,  Pope 153 

Poling,  Clark  V 127 

Poling,  Daniel 128,  1 74,  1 78 

Pool,  David  de  Sola 106 

Price,  Lucien 49 

Pugh,  William  B 98,  1 73 

Purdy,  Stanley  T 176 

Ramsey,  Elling  C 116 

Reynolds,  Maurice  W 20,  22,  1 16,  143 

Reynolds,  Oscar  W 108 

Rice,  Charles  D 164 

Richmond,  Harry  P 103,  158 

Rickenbacker,  Eddie 169,  179 

Riddle,  George  B 152 

Ripley,  Robert  L 116 

Rixey,  George  F 24,  107,  173,  180 

Rogers,  Ralph  W 72 

Roosevelt,  Franklin  D 51,  59,  1 17,  171 

Rosen,  Herman  L 153 

Rosenbaum,  William  F 147 

Rothschild,  Walter 1 74 

Royce,  Ralph 22 

Rupp,  Paul  D 108 

Ryan,  David  W 151 

Ryan,  Patrick  J 153,  160,  173 

Sagar,  John 168 

Salisbury,  S.  W 54 

Sampson,  Francis  L 151,  155 

Sandhaus,  Morris  A 183 

Saunders,  Edward  J 1 28 

Schenck,  Emmanuel 183 

Schock,  Robert  L 183 


Schroeder,  P.  C 78 

Scicina,  Thomas 121 

Scott,  Robert  S 155,  179 

Segal,  Bernard 97 

Sherrill,  Henry  K 98,  1 74 

Sizoo,  Joseph  R 56 

Skaggs,  Bruce 107 

Slovik,  Eddie  D 167 

Smith,  Bertram  L 163 

Smith,  Ralph  E 167 

Smith,  Walter  B 183 

Somervell,  Brehon  B 1 29 

Spellman,  Francis  J 97,  173 

Stillwell,  Joseph  W 160 

Stone,  Earl  S 183 

Storaasli,  Gynther 58,  131 

Sullivan,  John  J 41 

Taft,  Robert  A 93 

Taggart,  Gerard  W 156 

Taggart,  William  C 158 

Tarskey,  Benjamin 22,  39 

Taylor,  Robert 119 

Teidt,  Elmer  E 20,  103 

Teitelbaum,  Samuel 183 

Thomas,  John  M 27 

Tofield,  Aaron 183 

Toomey,  John 93 

Towle,  George 168 

Tucker,  Henry  S 113 

Tull,  James  E 96,  159 

Utts,  Douglas 78 

Vaugh,  A.  F 71 

Verret,  John  J 151 

Voorhis,  Mrs.  Daniel 70 

Vorsheim,  H.  G 70 

Ware,  Joseph 162 

Washington,  John  P 128 

Wilson,  John  A 1 19,  121 

Wilson,  Woodrow 40 

Windsor,  Duke  of 109 

Woodring,  Harris  H 65 

Yancey,  George  R 158 

Yamada,  Masao 165 

Yates,  Julian  E 1 1,  54,  74 

Ylvisaker,  N.  M 79 

Zellner,  Aubrey  A 159 

Zink,  William  J 165 

Zerbas,  Matthew 119 

Zimmerman,  Leslie 1 19,  121 

Zimmerman,  W.  B 70 




Name  Denomination       Grade        Years 

John  T.  Axton Congregationalist .  COL  1920-1928 

Edmund  P.  Easterbrook Methodist COL  1928-1929 

Julian  E.  Yates Baptist COL  1929-1933 

Alva  J.  Brasted Baptist COL  1933-1937 

William  R.  Arnold Catholic *MG  1937-1945 

Luther  D.  Miller Episcopalian *BG  1945- 


George  F.  Rixey Methodist BG  1944-1945 

William  D.  Cleary Catholic BG  1945- 

*Chaplain  Arnold  served  as  Chief  as  a  Colonel,  a  Brigadier  and  a  Major  General,  Chaplain 
Miller  served  as  Chief  for  9  months  in  the  grade  of  Brigadier  General  before  being  promoted  to 
Major  General,  but  after  the  period  covered  in  this  volume,  Chaplains  Arnold  and  Rixey  served 
in  the  Office  of  the  Inspector  General  after  leaving  office  so  that  in  1945  there  were  four  chaplains 
of  General  Officer  grade  on  active  duty. 




Regular  Army  Chaplains  conducted 19,  358 

1,943,  176 

Civilian  Clergy  conducted 3,  809 

223,  550 
Totals 23,  167 






2,  166,  726     Attendance 


Reserve  Chaplains  conducted 57,  916  Services 

5,  658,  667  Attendance 

Civilian  Clergy  conducted 1 20,  399  Services 

5,503,011  Attendance 

Totals 178,  315  Services 

11,  161,  678  Attendance 

(These  figures  do  not  include  the  Army  or  CCC  personnel  who  went 
to  church  off  post  in  civilian  parishes.) 

♦Honeywell,  Chaplains  of  The  United  States  Army,  p.  210. 





Roman  Catholic 


Baptist,  South 

Baptist,  Colored 


Presbyterian,  U.SA 

Protestant  Episcopal 

Baptist,  North 

Disciples  of  Christ 

Lutheran,  Missouri  Synod. 

United  Lutheran 

American  Lutheran 

Congregational  Christian . . 

Evangelical  and  Reformed . 

Latter  Day  Saints 

African  Methodist  Epis- 

Presbyterian,  U.S 

United  Brethren 

African  M.  E.  Zion 

Churches  of  Christ 

Christian  Science 

Colored  Methodist  Epis- 







2  Sep 

































2.  13 


2.  11 










































2  Sep  1945 

Reformed  in  America 

United  Presbyterian 

Greek  Orthodox 

Conservative  Brethren .  .  .  . 

Assemblies  of  God 

Seventh-Day  Adventist. . . . 
Church  of  the  Nazarene. . . 

American  Baptist 

Latter-Day    Saints,    Reor- 

Federated  Churches 

Christian  Reformed 

Free  Will  Baptist 

Salvation  Army 

Primitive  Baptists 

Russian  Orthodox 























♦Included  among  other  Baptists 

210  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

The  7.21  percent  not  included  in  the  foregoing  table  allowed  613 

to  be  obtained  from  other  sources.  At  the  end  of  the  war,  221  of  these 
were  on  duty  representing  the  following  bodies : 



2  Sep  1945 

General  Association  of  Regular  Baptist  Churches,  North 14 

Independent  Fundamental  Churches  of  America 15 

Methodist,    South 1 

Bible  Presbyterian 9 

Norwegian  and  Danish  Evangelical  Free  Church 1 

Pentecostal  Holiness 4 

Brethren,  General  Conference 1 

Brethren,  Progressive 1 

Brethren  (old  Constitution) 1 

Church  of  God  (Indiana) 11 

Church  of  God  (Pennsylvania) 1 

Foursquare . 4 

Reformed  Episcopal 2 

Cumberland  Presbyterian 20 

Orthodox  Presbyterian 6 

United  Grace  andT.E.A 1 

Universalists 10 

Advent  Christian 7 

Baptist  General  Conference  of  North  America 6 

German  Baptist 1 

Seventh-Day  Baptist 4 

Swedish  Baptist 9 

Evangelical,  Free 5 

Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance 28 

Evangelical  Missionary  Covenant 23 

Associated  Reformed  Presbyterian 9 

Free  Methodist 13 

Wesleyan  Methodist 7 

Evangelical  Congregational 3 

Moravian 3 

Presbyterian  Church  in  Canada 1 



SCHOOL   (1942) 

1.  a.  Forms  of  worship  and  religious  ceremonies  (study  and  practice) 

twenty-five  (25)  hours; 
b.  Pastoral  duties. 

2.  Leadership  demonstration — ten  (10)  hours. 

3.  DiscipHne:  courtesies  and  customs  of  the  service — ten  (10)  hours. 

4.  Rules  of  land  warfare — ten  (10)  hours. 

5.  Military  law — fifteen  (15)  hours. 

6.  Military  hygiene  and  first  aid — fifteen  ( 15 )  hours. 

7.  Topography — twenty  (20)  hours. 

8.  Graves  registration — fifteen  (15)  hours. 

9.  Military  correspondence  and  surveys — fifteen  (15)  hours. 

10.  Money  and  property  accountability — fifteen  ( 15 )  hours. 

1 1 .  Investigation,  interior  guard  duty — five  ( 5 )  hours. 

12.  Field  service  regulations,  equipment,  organization  of  the  Army — ten 
(10)  hours. 

13.  Recreation,  education,  music,  etc. — five  (5)  hours. 

14.  Offices  of  Division,  corps,  and  Army  chaplain  demonstration,  cooper- 
ation and  supervisory  duties — ten  (10)  hours. 

15.  Army  morale — ten  (10)  hours. 

16.  Defense  against  Chemicals — fifteen  (15)  hours. 

17.  Close  order  drill  and  conditioning  exercises — thirty-five  (35)  hours. 




SCHOOL  (1945)  ^ 

The  following  is  a  breakdown  by  hours  of  the  three-month  course  of 
instruction  "designed  for  chaplains  who  are  to  remain  in  the  post-war 
Regular  Army." 


Practical  Duties 70 

Drill 60 

Organized  Athletics 70 

Administrative   Chaplain 30 

Staff  Procedure 13 

Army  Organization 15 

Army  Administration 40 

Military  Law 28 

Army  Morale 25 

Counseling   30 

Graves  Registration . 5 

Chemical  Warfare 3 

Music   Appreciation 8 

Customs  and  Courtesies 15 

Military  Sanitation 12 

Map   Reading 40 

Special   Lectures 6 

Commandants'   Time 10 


'Letter  from  Chief  of  Chaplains  to  Commandant  19  October  1945,  RG  247,  Entry  1,  Box 
269,  352  Chaplain  School,  The  National  Archives,  Washington,  D.C. 




1.  Chaplain  (LTC)  Cephas  C.  Bateman 13  May  1920— 

14  March  1921 

2.  Chaplain  (LTC)  Joseph  L.  Hunter 15  March  1921— 

11  February  1925 

3.  Chaplain  (MAJ)  William  R.  Arnold 12  February  1925— 

12  March  1928 

4.  Chaplain  (COL)  William  D.  Cleary 2  February  1942— 

31  January  1945 

5.  Chaplain  (COL)  Maurice  W.  Reynolds 1  February  1945— 

7  December  1945 


246-684  O  -  78  -  15 



1.  Camp  Grant,  Illinois April  1920— September  1921 

2.  Camp  Zachary  Taylor,  September  1921— September  1922 

3.  Fort  Wayne,  Michigan September  1922—1924 

4.  Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas 1924 — 1928 

5.  Fort  Benjamin  Harrison,  February  1942— August  1942 

6.  Harvard  University,  August  1942— August  1944 

7.  Fort  Devens,  Massachusetts August  1944 — July  1945 

8.  Fort  Oglethorpe,  Georgia July  1945 — December  1946 









1.  Alspaugh,  Robert  E.  Lee.  Captain 

2.  Antonucci,  Ralph  A Captain 

3.  Barron,  Theodore  W Captain 

4.  Bell,  Hoke  S Captain 

5.  Blakeney,  Charles  S Captain 

6.  Bonner,  Peter  E Captain 

7.  Brady,  Thomas  T 1st  Lt.  . 

8.  Clary,  Edward  J 1st  Lt.  . 

9.  Cleveland,  Arthur  V Captain 

10.  Colgan,  Aquinas  T Capitan 

11.  Contino,  William  S 1st  Lt.  . 

12.  Cummings,  William  T.  .  .  1st  Lt.  . 

13.  Czubak,  Anthony  E Captain 

14.  Dawson,  William Major. . 

15.  Day,  Norris  E Captain 

16.  Dieffenbacher,  Arthur  J.  .  1st  Lt.  . 

17.  Doyle,  Neil  J IstLt.  . 

18.  Edelen,  Philip  B 1st  Lt.  . 

19.  Falter,  Clement  M 1st  Lt.  . 

20.  Fowlkes,  Paschal  D Captain 

21.  Fox,  George  L 1st  Lt.  . 

22.  Gilmore,  Joseph  A Captain 

23.  Goode,  Alexander  D 1st  Lt.  . 

24.  Goodfellow,  Rollin Captain 

25.  Gravely,  Horace  E 1st  Lt.  . 

26.  Griggs,  Clarence  W. .  .  .  .  .  Captain 



16  Jan 




5  May 




29  Dec 




10  Apr 




2  Sep 




28  Jul 




22  Jul 




15  Jul 




15  Dec 




6  May 




3  Mar 




15  Dec 




22  Jan 




15  Dec 




7  Sep 




5  Jul 




15  Jul 




10  Jun 




8  Nov 




24  Mar 


O  485 


17  Apr 




2  Jun 




17  Apr 




1  Dec 




7  Feb 




12  Apr 




THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 





27.  Hagan,  Clarence  J 1st  Lt.  . 

28.  Haley,  Percy  E Captain 

29.  Hampton,  Edwin  W 1st  Lt.  . 

30.  Hand,  Francis  E Captain 

31.  Hansen,  Raymond  J Captain 

32.  Kilbert,  John  R 1st  Lt.  . 

33.  Kimball,  Clyde  E Captain 

34.  Koskamp,  Rowland  A. . . .  Captain 

35.  Lafleur,  Joseph  V Captain 

36.  Lenaghan,  Arthur  C .  .  .  .  .  Captain 

37.  Liston,  James  M 1st  Lt.  . 

38.  Lynch,  Lawrence  E Captain 

39.  McDaniel,  Harley  R 1st  Lt.  . 

40.  McDonnell,  John  J Captain 

41.  McKnight,  Thomas  E. . .  .  Captain 

42.  MacDonald,  Ernest  W.  .  .  Captain 

43.  Maternowski,  Ignatius  P.  .  Captain 

44.  Monoghan,  Owen  T Captain 

45.  Monre,  Edwin  U 1st  Lt.  . 

46.  Montgomery,  Harry Captain 

47.  Munro,  Keith  B Captain 

48.  O'Brien,  James  W 1st  Lt.  . 

49.  O'Grady,  Eugene  P Captain 

50.  O'Toole,  Myles  F Captain 

51.  Poling,  Clark  V 1st  Lt.  . 

52.  Rasetzki,  Dietrich  F 1st  Lt.  . 

53.  Reagan,  Thomas  H Lt  Col. . 

54.  Rechtsteiner,  Leo  G Captain 

55.  Rounds,  Erie  F 1st  Lt.  . 

56.  Savignac,  Valmore  G.  .  .  .  1st  Lt.  . 

57.  Scecina,  Thomas  J Captain 

58.  Schwer,  John  Wm Captain 

59.  Shaw,  James  R Captain 

60.  Stanton,  Loren  L Captain 

61.  Steel,  John  R Captain 

62.  Stober,  Henry  B Captain 

63.  Stump,  Clarence  G Captain 


0-553  473 
0-499  097 
0-553  341 
0-385  280 
0-464  313 
0-523  437 
0-415  638 
0-517  319 
0-413  977 
0-443  418 
0-462  733 
0-428  150 
O-507  061 
0-23  619 
O-480  972 
0-441  522 
0-532  213 
0-477  811 
O-340  867 
O-406  259 
0-415  524 
0-513  309 
0-477  425 
0-525  810 
O-20  415 
0-513  893 
O-203  298 
0-477  261 
0-384  964 
0-529  000 
0-475  301 
0-511  823 
0-435  366 
0-356  936 
O-540  976 

6  Jan 

26  Nov 

18  Dec 

14  Oct 
11  Jun 

27  Oct 

19  Dec 

5  Apr 

7  Sep 
7  Jan 
7  Feb 

24  Apr 

26  Nov 

22  Jan 

9  Feb 

7  Feb 

8  Jun 
7  Apr 

20  Jan 
3  Mar 

15  Aug 

24  Oct 

29  Nov 
19  Jan 

17  Apr 

25  Jul 

18  Dec 
22  Oct 
22  Dec 

7  Feb 
24  Oct 
13  Aug 

30  Jul 

26  Mar 

6  Jun 
15  Dec 

21  Nov 








64.  Teem,  Arvil  E 1st  Lt.  . 

65.  Tepper,  Irving Captain 

66.  Ternan,  Dominic 1st  Lt.  . 

67.  Tiffany,  Frank  L Captain 

68.  Turner,  Guy  H 1st  Lt.  . 

69.  Tyler,  Barret  L Captain 

70.  Vanderheiden,  Joseph  G.  Captaip 

7 1 .  Verret,  John  J Captain 

72.  Vincent,  Clarence  A 1st  Lt.  . 

73.  Wallace,  Eunace  A Captain 

74.  Washington,  John  P 1st  Lt.  . 

75.  Wilder,  Quintin  M 1st  Lt.  . 

76.  Youngdahl,  David  H Captain 

77.  Zerfas,  Mathias  E Captain 

0-435  027 

12  Feb 


O  435  123 

13  Aug 


O  442  928 



O-306  297 

24  Oct 


0-494  909 

29  May 


O  411  815 

15  Mar 


0-414  242 

15  Dec 


0-477  243 

8  Jan 


-    0-543  340 

13  Mar 


0-414  003 

16  Feb 


0-463  529 

17  Apr 


0-526  617 

15  Jan 


O  448  376 

7  Feb 


0-382  274 

15  Dec 




(1  July  1943-30  June   1944) 

Religious  Services 1,644,032 

Attendance 99,  701,  108 

Communion  and  Sacramental  Occasions 1,  035,  236 

Participants 12,952,956 

Guardhouse  and  Hospital  Visits 1,  206,892 

Pastoral  Activities — Functional  Occasions 9,  865,  263 

Pastoral  Contacts — Persons  Reached 86,515,  160 

Civilian  Communities — Functional  Occasions 360,  421 

Contacts — Persons  Reached 28,  551,  651 




Ahlstrom,  Sydney  E. 

A  Religious  History  of  the  American  People.  New  Haven:  Yale  Uni- 
versity Press,  1972. 

Amoury,  Daisy. 

Father  Cyclone.  New  York :  Julian  Messner  Inc.,  1958. 

Anderson,  Stanley  Edwin. 

Shepherds  to  24,000,000  Service  Men.  Butler,  Indiana:   Highley 
Press,  1954. 

Axton,  John  Thomas  Jr. 

Brief  History  of  Chaplains  in  the  US  Army.  Fort  Leavenworth,  1925. 

Barish,  Louis  J. 

Rabbis  In  Uniform.  New  York :  Jonathan  David  Publishers,  1962. 

Bennett,  Ivan  L,  (editor). 

The  Hymnal  Army  and  Navy.  New  York:  A.  S.  Barnes  and  Com- 
pany, 1941. 

Bennett,  Ivan  L. 

Songs  and  Service  Book  for  Ship  and  Field,  Army  and  Navy.  New 
York:  A.  S.  Barnes  and  Company,  1941. 

Brasted,  Alva  Jennings. 

Service  to  Servicemen.  Minneapolis,  Minnesota:  Augsburg  Publish- 
ing House,  1941. 

Brasted,  Evelyn. 

Soldier  of  God.  New  York:  Carlton  Press,  1971. 

Bureau  of  Service  to  Military  Personnel  National  Lutheran  Council. 

By  Their  Side.  Washington,  D.C. :  Bureau  of  Service  to  Military  Per- 
sonnel National  Lutheran  Council,  1971. 

Burgett,  Donald  R. 

Curaheel.  Boston:  Houghton  Mifflin  Company,  1967. 

Butler,  Orvid. 

Youth  Rebuilds.  Washington:  The  American  Forestry  Association, 

Chapman,  Robert  B. 

Tell  It  To  The  Chaplain.  New  York:  Exposition  Press,  1952. 


220  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Chester,  Joseph. 

Dorchester:  Greenland  Pioneer.  Pubhshed  Privately,  2001  S.  16th 
Street,  Milwaukee,  Wisconsin,  1969. 


Christian  Science  Publishing  Society. 

The  Story  of  Christian  Science  Wartime  Activities  1939-46.  Boston, 

Mass.:  The  Christian  Science  Publishing  Society,  1947. 
Connelly,  Kenneth  A.  Jr. 

Chaplain's  Assistant.  Seattle:  Craftsman  Press,  1945. 
Cross,  Christopher. 

Soldiers  of  God. ISlewYork:  D.P.Dutton,  1945. 
Dehoney,  Wayne. 

Disciples  In  Uniform.  NzishviWe:  Broadman  Press,  1967. 
Dennis,  Clyde  H. 

Ten  Thrilling  Stories  from  the  World's  Battlefronts.  Chicago :  Good 

News  Publishing  Co.,  1943. 
Eisenhower,  Dwight  David. 

At  Ease.  Pleasantville,  New  York:  The  Reader's  Digest  Assn.  1967. 
Franklin,  John  Hope. 

From  Slavery  to  Freedom.  New  York:  Alfred  A.  Knopf,  1974. 
Ginzberg,  Eli. 

The  Negro  Potential.  New  York :  Columbia  University  Press,  1956. 
Grant,  Dorothy  Fremont. 

War  Is  My  Parish.  Milwaukee,  Wisconsin:  The  Bruce  Publishing 

Company,  1944. 
Grosevenor,  Gilbert  M. 

We  Americans.  Washington:    The  National  Geographic  Society, 

Haggerty,  James  Edward. 

Guerrilla  Padre  in  Mindanao.  New  York :  Longman,  Greene  &  Com- 
pany, 1946. 
Hickcox,  Percy  Merriman. 

Mine  Eyes  Have  Seen.  Boston :  Mosher  Press,  1950. 
Holman,  C.  T. 

Personal  Problems  of  Men  In  the  Armed  Forces.  New  York:  Army 

and  Navy  Department,  Young  Men's  Christian  Associations,  1944. 
Honeywell,  Roy  J. 

Chaplains  of  the  United  States  Army.  Washington,  D.C. :  DA  Office 

of  the  Chief  of  Chaplains,  1958. 



Huie,  William  Bradford. 

The  Execution  of  Private  Slovik.  New  York:  Delacorte  Press,  1970. 

Hutcheson,  Richard  G.,  Jr. 

The  Churches  and  the  Chaplaincy.  Atlanta:  John  Knox  Press,  1975. 

James,  George  F. 

Eleven  Years  of  CMTC.  Chicago:  Military  Training  Camps  Associ- 
ation of  the  United  States,  1931. 

James,  George  F. 

Fifteen  Years  of  CMTC.  Chicago:  Military  Training  Camps  Associ- 
ation of  the  United  States,  1 935. 

James,  George  F. 

The  Story  of  the  Camps.  Chicago :  Military  Training  Camps  Associ- 
ation of  the  United  States,  1926. 

Jorgensen,  Daniel  B. 

The  Service  of  Chaplains  to  Army  Air  Units  1917-1946.  Washing- 
ton: Office  Chief  of  Air  Force  Chaplains,  1961. 

Kertzer,  Morris  Norman. 

With  an  H  on  My  Dog  Tag.  New  York:  Behrman  House,  1947. 

Korson,  George  Gershon. 

At  His  Side.  New  York:  Coward-McCann,  Inc.,  1945. 

Leonard,  Adna  W. 

The  Chaplaincy  from  the  Standpoint  of  the  Government  and  the 
Church.  Washington:  Methodist  Commission  on  Camp  Activities, 

Maker,  Richard  T. 

For  God  and  Country:  Mormon  Chaplains  During  WW  IL  Brigham 
Young  University :  Thesis,  1975. 

Manchester,  William. 

Chaplains  of  the  Methodist  Church  in  World  War  II.  Washington: 

Matloff,  Maurice. 

American  Military  History.  Washington :  Office  of  the  Chief  of  Mili- 
tary History,  1969. 

McLuskey,  J.  Fraser. 

Parachute   Padre.   London:    Student   Christian   Movement   Press, 
Methodist  Church  (United  States)  Commission  on  Chaplains. 

Chaplains  of  the  Methodist  Church  in  World  War  II,  Washington: 
Methodist  Church  Commission  on  Chaplains,  1948. 

222  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

Miller,  John  G. 

Saints  and  Parachutes. 'London:  Constable  Publishers,  1951. 

"The  Military  Chaplaincy,  A  Report  to  the  President."  Washington, 
D.C.:  The  President's  Committee  on  Religion  and  Welfare  in  the 
Armed  Forces,  1951. 

Nance,  Elwood  C. 

Faith  of  Our  Fighters.  St.  Louis:  Bethany  Press,  1944. 

National  Lutheran  Council. 

By  Their  Side.  Washington:  Bureau  of  Service  to  Military  Personnel 

National  Lutheran  Council,  1947. 
Nelson,  Ralph  Waldo. 

Soldier,  You're  It!  New  York :  Association  Press,  1945. 
Nygaard,  Norman  Eugene. 

Strength  for  Service  to  God  and  Country.  New  York:  Abingdon- 

Cokesbury,  1942. 
Oliver,  Alfred  C,  and  Dudley,  Harold  M. 

This  New  America.  New  York:  Longmans,  Green  and  Company, 

O'Neil,  James  H. 

The  True  Story  of  the  Patton  Prayer.  Washington:  US  Government 

Printing  Office,  1950. 
Poling,  Daniel  A. 

Your  Daddy  Did  Not  Die.  New  York :  Greenberg,  1 944. 
Price,  Lucien. 

Religion  of  the  Soldier  and  Sailor,  "Between  Two  Wars",  Edited  by 

Willard  L.  Sperry,  Volume  IL  Cambridge:    Harvard  University 

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226  THE  U.S.  ARMY  CHAPLAINCY— 1920-1945 

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